Thursday, November 30, 2006

Only Three Weeks Left For Christmas Shopping

There's only three weeks left for Christmas shopping and I can't underemphasize the importance of putting in your order for any Eskimo art or Native Indian art as soon as possible. Three weeks is close to the maximum time buffer I would suggest for shipping items out in time for Christmas. In fact, for overseas deliveries, we would have past that buffer zone already unless very expensive express overseas shipping is used.

For North American based customers, there is still a very short window of time left (less for points further away from Montreal, Canada). So please avoid disappointment and get your order in if you intend to give some unique Eskimo art or Native Indian art as gifts this holiday season.

Last year, one customer made an order just 5 days before Christmas and had to pay double shipping costs in order to get the item in time for his daughter as a special Christmas gift. Don't make that mistake. Check out our gallery and do your shopping now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Two More Salmon Fish Carvings Added

I have added two more salmon fish carvings by Northwest Native American art carver Gary Baker to Free Spirit Gallery, a female one and a male salmon. They are priced at $165 US each or $298 US for the pair. These are the last additions of Northwest Native American art carvings for the rest of the year. The existing inventory is on view at the gallery section of the website and once a piece is sold, it is removed from the website as soon as possible.

It is highly suggested to order any artwork from Free Spirit Gallery now if one wants to receive pieces in time for Christmas. If these salmons appeal to you, more details are at Salmon Fish Carvings. For a general overview of our other artwork, take a browse at our gallery.


northwest native american art salmon fish carvings

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Inuit Art Puppets Seized By US Customs Officials

Six Inuit marionette puppets being shipped to Rhode Island, USA for repair were seized by U.S. Customs officials as suspected contraband under the 1972 U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. The act protects endangered marine mammals by banning trade products made from them (more information is at Inuit Art Shipping Restrictions).

The puppets are trimmed with the skins and furs of ringed seal, musk ox, caribou and contain beluga whale bones which had washed up on a Pelly Bay shore. The puppets are not for sale as they are used by Inuit elders to teach youngsters about their culture. If the Inuit owners are charged, it could be the first diplomatic incident between the United States and the newly created Inuit territory of Nunavut in Canada. This is not the first time the United States has interfered with Inuit culture. Canadian Inuits crossing into the United States often have seal fur clothing seized by American authorities.

Fortunately, the vast majority of Inuit art at Free Spirit Gallery are free to cross the border to US based customers without any complications as they do not contain any parts of marine mammals.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Do Christmas Shopping Now!

I must emphasize the importance of doing any Christmas shopping now if there are plans to give Inuit or Native American Indian art gifts this year (and what special gifts they will make!). Shipping across borders and going to opposite ends of the continent can take a few weeks under normal circumstances. With busier expected loads on the shipping services during December, ample time must be required for shipping to avoid disappointments. Unless very expensive shipping services are used, we really can't expect to get items delivered rapidly. Even FedEx ground will take anywhere from 4 to 8 business days. Faster services are very costly and late shoppers unfortunately have to pay an arm and a leg for it (in some cases, higher than the price of the item).

So if you want to include Inuit art or Native American Indian art on your shopping list, do it now to avoid disappointment. Check out our art gallery for the best current selections now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Canadian Aboriginal Tribe Wants National Park Created

Thirty years ago, the Canadian aboriginal tribe Dene community of Lutsel K'ein located in the Northwest Territories of Canada turned down a federal proposal to create a national park on their lands. The Dene feared it would interfere with their hunting rights. The aboriginal tribe now views Parks Canada as an ally and is working with the Canadian federal government to create new national park. The proposed park is 25,000 to 38,000 square kilometres and includes the most pristine part of Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake in North America. It is also home to moose, grizzly, black bears and caribou, the Dene's main food source. The Dene are hoping the national park will stop the region's mining claims from disturbing the caribou.

"We've noticed that the caribou are much skinnier. They're not coming around as much as they used to," said James Marlowe of the Lutsel K'e Dene. "And the elders say the mines are polluting the area through emissions from their oil stoves, the noise, the dust."

The Canadian aboriginal tribe wants to call the new park ThaydeneNene National Park, which means "land of the ancestors." "For thousands of years our grandmothers and grandfathers lived off the land and the land is very much a part of our people, and it's very important to protect that," said Sayese Catholique.

See Free Spirit Gallery for unique Canadian Aboriginal Art.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Overseas Shipping of Eskimo Art Went Okay

In the last several weeks, Free Spirit Gallery shipped Canadian Eskimo art sculptures to customers in the Netherlands in three separate shipments and a Canadian Indian art carving to another customer located in Denmark. All shipments to these overseas locations were successful as all native artwork including the fragile stone Eskimo sculptures arrived safely without any damage at all. Our policy of careful and 'over' packing as illustrated in our Packing of Native Artwork page ensures minimal damage, even to long voyages overseas.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Won't be Attending Canadian Aboriginal Festival

Looks like I won't be making the trip to Toronto to attend the Canadian Aboriginal Festival after all. I was originally hoping to go so I could get more video footage and photos of aboriginal dancing and other cultural events. But I still have video footage from the McCord Museum that I still haven't edited yet so there will be more new media to add to the Free Spirit Gallery website yet. I expect to have relocated back to the Toronto area by next year's festival so I'll attend for sure in 2007.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Numbers of Wild Salmon in Eastern Canada Dropping

The numbers of wild salmon in eastern Canada's rivers have dropped dramatically in the last two decades. The Atlantic Salmon Federation (AFS)is trying to learn why the wild salmon fish are disappearing.

"I've likened this to a murder," said ASF scientist, Fred Worisk. "The smolts are heading out to the ocean and there's a murder and we don't know when or where the murder is occurring. So it's awfully difficult to finger the culprit."

Last spring, the ASF tagged 200 salmon smolts with microphone receivers to track their movements from rivers in the province of New Brunswick to the Strait of Belle Isle. Some salmon died in the rivers, while others died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Out of the intial 200, only 7 salmon fish made it to the Straight and they appeared quite healthy.

"They're bigger," said Canadian scientist Paul Brooking. "They've been feeding. They're growing and on their way to their winter feeding grounds."

The scientists will conduct further tests to pinpoint specific areas along these particular water routes where the salmon have died.

Canadian aboriginal artists create some great artwork of salmon fish. See some examples of Canadian aboriginal art salmon fish carvings at Free Spirit Gallery.



canadian aboriginal art salmon fish carvings

Monday, November 20, 2006

Pacific Northwestern Indian Art Mask a Special Christmas Gift

The Pacific Northwestern Indian art mask that we have in our gallery carved by master carver Cody Mathias would make a very special Christmas gift for someone. This particular Pacific Northwestern Indian art mask would easily be priced at around $2,000 at a street retail gallery. But since Free Spirit Gallery is an exclusively online entity, we are able to offer it under $1,000 US which makes it an incredibly great deal. Since this is the only mask at the gallery right now and that time must be considered for shipping in advance of Christmas, now is the time to order it to secure it.


pacific northwestern indian art masks

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gray Whales Missing From Northwest Coastal Region

Up to 17,000 gray whales are missing from the Northwest Coastal region and scientists are concerned. For the last two years, the whales haven't turned up at their traditional feeding grounds.

"We've just come off a second summer in Canada in which we've had next to no whales show up," said William Megill of Bath University in the United Kingdom. "Not only in our little area, but apparently throughout the traditional feeding areas from Washington on up north. We have no idea where the whales all went this year."

Each summer, gray whales feed in the waters from northern California to the Bering and Chuckchi Seas along the Northwest Coastal region because these areas are rich in plankton. But lately these regions haven't seemed to provide enough food for the whales. Megill said the Bering Sea area has "taken a beating" over the last 10 years, forcing the whales into new habitat. But researchers haven't yet found where these new feeding grounds might be.

"This suggests they may be quite lean this winter, particularly as this is now the second summer they've had to deal with this problem, " Megill said.

Generally, the whales rarely feed in their winter breeding grounds, but researchers observed them trying to feed from the lagoon bottoms last winter. "How much they were getting out of the mud they were sifting, I don't know," Megill said. "But there was a lot of it going on, more than I'm used to seeing. We're expecting to see the animals feeding even more in Mexican waters this year." The gray whales face an uncertain future.

To see a video of the whale research in Baja, California, check out http://www.livescience.com/php/video/player.php?video_id=grey_whale

Also, especially for whale lovers, see Northwest Coastal Art Whale Carvings as well as Inuit Art Arctic Whale Sculptures at Free Spirit Gallery.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Northwest Coast Native Art of the Thunderbird

The thunderbird has been a key figure in not only Northwest coast native art and culture but many other Native American regions. See an interesting information resource article on the Northwest Coast Native Art Thunderbird. Free Spirit Gallery presently has two beautiful Northwest coast native art carvings of thunderbirds by master carver Cody Mathias of Squamish Nation. See these at the Northwest Coast Native Art Bird Carvings section.


northwest coast native art thunderbird carvings

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Northwest Coast Tlingit Haida Youth Chosen As Ambassador

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has concluded its national convention in Sacramento, California. This year, the NCAI established the Youth Ambassador Leadership Program which recognizes the strong leadership skills of Native American youth. "Native youth are collaborating in ways that will benefit all of us in the future, and this program will only enhance the way in which they coordinate their efforts to improve the lives of their peers," said NCAI president Joe Garcia.

One of this year's chosen ambassadors is Marrisa Corpuz, a Northwest Coast Tlingit-Haida freshman at University of Alaska Southeast. "This is a wonderful opportunity for me to reach out to youth on a national level and a personal level. I am very excited to see the issues that we will be dealing wit and to assist in creating solutions," Corpuz said. "I know that I am working with three wonderful Native youth and with the emergence all of our individual strengths we will make a difference and impact on Indian Nations. I can't wait to get out and hear the voices of the Indian youth of America. I can assure you that we will represent Indian Youth across the nation to the best of our capabilities."

Northwest Coast art can be seen at Free Spirit Gallery.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Northwest Coast Native Art of the Thunderbird

The thunderbird has been a legendary figure in Native culture for hundreds of years. It has also been a subject in mainstream culture where it has been everything from a kids TV show to the name of a classic North American car. More background of the this legendary bird is at the Native American Thunderbird article.

At present, there are two Northwest Coast Native art carvings of thunderbirds at Free Spirit Gallery, both by master carver Cody Mathias of Squamish Nation. These beautiful carvings are at the Northwest Coast Native Art Bird Carvings section of the gallery.

northwest coast native art bird carvings thunderbird

Monday, November 13, 2006

Canadian Aboriginal Festival in November

The Canadian Aboriginal Festival will take place in Toronto on November 25-26 (actually they will start on November 24 but this day is allocated as an educational day for students). This is one of the largest aboriginal festivals and definitely the largest in Canada. I haven't decided if I want to attend yet as I will have to travel from Montreal and I already made a trip to T.O. last month. I figure that I will have relocated back to Toronto by next year so it would be easy for me to attend the event in 2007. But we'll see. In the meantime, the website for the Canadian Aboriginal Festival is at www.canab.com

Also see Canadian Aboriginal Art at Free Spirit Gallery

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Haida Artists Awarded Grants to Study Northwest Coast Collection

The Burke Museum of Seattle has awarded grants to Haida artists (weavers) Lisa Telford and her apprentice Shauna Colbert to study the museum's Northwest Coast ethnology collection that also includes photo and paper archives. Grants were also awarded to Tsimshian/Tlingit graduate student Mique'l Askren and mixed media Nisga'a artist Mike Dangeli, also to study the Northwest Coast collection.

For contemporary artwork, see Northwest Coast Art.

Another Arctic Fish Comes to Online Inuit Art Gallery

Online Inuit art gallery, Free Spirit Gallery, has welcomed another Arctic fish sculpture. This one is by Timothy Akuliak who puts really nice detail to his fish scultures, especially in the fin areas. To see more details of this Arctic fish sculpture as well as others, see Inuit Sculptures at Free Spirit Gallery.


arctic fish inuit sculptures

Friday, November 10, 2006

Northwest Native Tinglit Youth Camp

About 40 Northwest Native Tinglit youth attended this year’s Latseen Leadership Training Camp in Juneau, Alaska. “Our youth are no longer raised in the traditional way,” said Barbara Cadiente-Nelson from the Sealaska Heritage Institute. “This camp focuses on rooting them in place, reconnecting them to who they are in history. It is important to know your past in order to go forward.”

“Latseen” means “strength” in the Northwest Native Tlingit language (for more Native American meanings, check out Native American Names). Camp events focused on strengthening three Rs: rigor, relevance and relationship. Campers began each day with a “freedom dance” at 7 a.m. They also tended to graves at the Native Graveyard on nearby Douglas Island, prepared meat, rendered seal oil, and learned the traditional Northwest Native Tinglit way to cook salmon—wrapped in leaves baked in the ground. “Our scholars envisioned this camp to build up Native youth and train them to be tradition bearers,” said Cadiente-Nelson.

Some comments from the Northwest Native Tinglit youth:

“I’ve felt disconnected since I left. This camp helped me remember who I am, where I come from. It’s something I wish I could have participated in when I was in high school.” Jennifer Hanlon, 21

“We’ve learned a lot from the elders ... how to carve a dagger and how to build a smokehouse. We dissected and smoked fish, and learned how to prepare other traditional foods.” Tiffany LaRue, 15

Each student earned four college credits for attending the camp: one credit in the Northwest Native Tlingit language, one in physical education, and two in Alaska Native American history.

For magnificent art from the northwest, see Northwest Native Art.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

An 87 Year Old Alaskan Yup'ik Native Dances

The Egan Center in Alaska was packed for the drumming and dance showcase during the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. Performers representing Alutiiq, Inupiat, Yup'ik and Southeast Indian traditions took their turns, and then a surprise as 87 year-old Yup'ik Native elder Mary Ann Sundown took the stage to dance. As the beloved "Dance Diva" from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta hobbled onto the stage, bent and slow, cheers from a thousand or more fans shook the roof. She donned her fur headpiece and gripped her dance fans, sitting in a chair to perform. The Alaskan Native elder's coordination, grace, charm, and humor showed throughout her performance. At the end of each song, she struggled to her feet for the final choruses. Her performance included two comic numbers associated with Sundown: the "Mosquito Song," which includes hilarious swatting and itching pantomimes; and the "Cigarette Song." Before leaving, Mary Ann told the crowd in Yup'ik, through a translator, how happy she was to be here.

A slideshow of the 87-year old Yupik elder, Mary Ann Sundown, dancing at AFN Convention is at www.adn.com/photos/multimedia/afn


See Free Spirit Gallery for beautiful northern artwork.

Native Indian Tribe Acquires Historic Land

The Northeastern native Indian tribe Passamaquoddies have a long history in eastern Maine and in New Brunswick, Canada. Recently, the tribe acquired a land parcel that contains rock carvings from thousands of years ago. The 5.5 acre parcel was given to the Passamaquoddy tribe by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust in exchange for a conservation, no-development easement on 300 acres of land. Called Picture Rocks, the carvings include hunters, moose, caribou, shaman and other characters that tell stories about native Indian tribal life and the history of what is now Maine. Among the largest petroglyphs is a large sailing ship moving through water, believed to be a recording of explorer Samuel de Champlain's arrival in 1604. Picture Rocks is perhaps the most important petroglyph site in Maine, said Mark Hedden from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.


To see some examples of great modern day Native Indian art, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Arctic Fish Eskimo Sculpture

Eskimo Inuit carver Adamie Niviaxie of Inukjuak likes to make some very distinctive Arctic fish sculptures. His fish are usually nice and fat resulting in Eskimo sculptures with some good mass. His latest Arctic fish sculpture at Free Spirit Gallery is not exception. At present, this is the only one available. More details and photos are at Eskimo Sculptures near the bottom of the page.


arctic fish eskimo sculptures

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Inuit Loon Bird Carvings

One of my favorite Inuit carvers is Saima Alayco who also goes by the name Simon. He carves some wonderful sculptures of loon birds that have exquisite detail, especially in the feathers of the wings. The type of birds that he carves are often loons which have long slender necks and Saima faithfully reproduces these in his carvings. My last one was sold to a customer in the Netherlands and I was lucky enough to get two new loon birds by Saima. I see that he has now starting to carve the wings in different positions which is not an easy thing to do with stone. These Inuit loon bird carvings are at the Other Inuit Carvings category at Free Spirit Gallery.


inuit loon bird carvings

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Eskimo Art Seal Carvings In

Our inventory of Eskimo art seal carvings were also sold out last week so we have been able to replace them with a few more new ones that have just been listed online at the Free Spirit Gallery Eskimo Art website. In fact, carvings from the sections for musk ox, Inuit inukshuk and seals were completely sold out but have now been replaced by new pieces.


eskimo art seal carvings

eskimo art seal carvings

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Inuit Inukshuk Sculptures Have Arrived

Since we were sold out of all of our Inuit inukshuk sculptures this past week, we needed to get a new supply. We were able to bring in four new ones. One was sold immediately and the three remaining ones are currently up at the Free Spirit Gallery website. See Inuit Inukshuk Scukptures for more details. Also see the article on inukshuk for background information.


inuit inukshuk sculptures

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Additional Muskox Inuit Carvings Arrived

Since a corporate customer in Netherlands bought five muskox Inuit carvings as part of a large order, Free Spirit Gallery was sold out of muskoxen. Fortunately, we were able to acquire two additional ones rather quickly and they are also by Billy Nutaraq, who seems to specialize in very interesting looking muskox carvings. See the new muskox Inuit carvings at Free Spirit Gallery among the new arrivals of art.


muskox inuit carvings muskox inuit carvings

Friday, November 03, 2006

Inuit Sculptures as Corporate Christmas Gifts

Due to a large order of Inuit sculptures from a company located in the Netherlands, Free Spirit Gallery is presently sold out of all seal, inukshuk and musk ox carvings. A total of 26 Inuit sculptures is being shipped overseas. We have just acquired Inuit sculpture pieces to replace the stock and they will start coming online at the Free Spirit Gallery website by this Saturday, Novemeber 4.


Please check back with us at the Free Spirit Gallery website later this weekend for the new arrivals of Inuit sculptures. We will have more seals, musk ox and inukshuk carvings as well as others.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

International Shipping of Native Indian Art Can Take Time

Free Spirit Gallery does ship native Indian art as well as Eskimo art to international destinations outside of North America. However, delivery times can be delayed and are unpredictable. The postal services claim a four to six week delivery period but we have experienced delays longer than this. Using other shipping services for overseas shipping has proven to be quite cost prohibitive. We have increased our estimated deliver times for international destinations to four to eight weeks. Unfortunately, once shipments leave Canada, we have no control over the remainder of the delivery which is why we usually make sure that all of our international shipments are fully insured for loss. This way, our international customers will be protected. So if you are an international customer, the good news is that beautiful Eskimo art and Native Indian art is available to be shipped to your destination but just be aware that it could take some time before it reaches you.


For more information on shipping, see our webpage on Ordering Native Indian Art.