Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Social Bookmark Inuit Art and Native American Art

Free Spirit Gallery, an Inuit art and Native American art website, has been going through some modifications where a social bookmark button has been placed on many of its webpages. This will make it easier for visitors who do use social bookmarking to quickly add the site to some of the most popular social bookmark sites such as and Digg.

The single button will be found at the bottom of most webpages of Free Spirit Gallery and is similar to the one at the links column on the right side of this Inuit and Native Art Bulletin blog.

So now for those who do use social bookmarking, there's an easy and quick way to social bookmark useful information on Inuit art and Native American art.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Canadian First Nations Kids Started Smoking At Age Five!

Researchers in Ontario, Canada have received a $990,000 grant for a five-year project aimed to reduce the number of Canadian First Nations youth abusing tobacco. Researching the traditional use of tobacco in Canadian First Nations religious ceremonies will be an integral part of this project. "First Nations youth have a rate of smoking that is twice that of the general population of Canada," said Sheila Hardy from Laurentian University in northern Ontario. "We are looking at how we can work that tradition in to promote tobacco use in a good way."

She believes advocating tobacco use for spiritual purposes may decrease the number of Canadian First Nations youth who smoke socially. It's been reported that very young children are involved with tobacco. "From some of the calls I've had, they are talking about kids as young as five or six that are socially smoking," said Dr. Peter Selby from the University of Toronto.

So if a kid starts smoking at the age of five, once they are fifteen, they would have been smoking for ten years already. Twenty years by the age of twenty five. That's just outrageous!

For other articles on Native culture, see Canadian First Nations Information. Also, see Canadian First Nations Art.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Canadian First Nations Community to be Respected

The Ontario provincial minister for children and youth services is respecting the Wahgoshig Canadian First Nation's decision to keep child welfare workers out of its community. "I do agree with their desire to have their kids cared for according to their traditions and culture and customs," said Mary Ann Chambers from Child and Family Services of Timmins. "I'll leave it up to the chiefs and the councils to determine who goes onto their reserves or who doesn't go on their reserves."

Canadian First Nations Wahgoshig Chief Dave Babin is grateful. He says the trend in many Children's Aid Societies is to separate Canadian Native Aboriginal children from their parents based only on the word of concerned citizens. "There's no investigation," Babin said. "They take the word of other people. People don't even know the real situation. Basically, Child and Family Services grabs the kid and the mother never sees the child ... Our children are being kidnapped from our own communities."

For articles on native art, see Canadian First Nations Art.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Native American Indian Legend As Toastmasters Speech

I used the Native American Indian legend about the Salmon People again at another Toastmasters meeting as a speech and it went really well. I was able to put in a moral of the story in order to fulfill the requirement of the speech. The moral was that if customs from different cultures are respected, no matter how different they are, everybody benefits. For more info on this legend, see Northwest Salmon Legend. Also, see Free Spirit Gallery for Northwest Native American Indian carvings.

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Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations Community Loses Hall

The tiny Pacific Northwest coast First Nations Nisga community at Kincolith in British Columbia experienced a sad Christmas as a fire destroyed their community centre. The loss is devastating to the village which used the hall for feasts, weddings, and other community events. "Our basketball players practise in there, starting at 6 a.m. in the morning. The community building is used for the elders' walk; the women do all their cooking in there for the community. It's used for memorial services and big, big feast events like stone movings and it's [used] just for celebrations," said Rose Oscar.

The village of 350 held all of its Christmas celebrations in the building. Luckily, the children's Christmas presents had not been moved to the centre. Let's hope that they will be able to rebuild a much needed hall soon.

See Free Spirit Gallery for wonderful Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations art.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Northwest Native American School Wins Award

Kotzebue School, a northwest Native American facility up in Alaska, has won a Lighthouse Award from the Council of Educational Facility Planners International. CEFPI is a professional organization whose sole mission is to improve places where children learn. CEFPI selected the Kotzebue school because of "an extensive and inclusive community planning process that addressed age-appropriate learning; school-within-a-school concepts, severe and complex environmental issues and the celebration and preservation of Native American culture."

For more articles, see Northwest Native American Culture. For art specific articles, see Northwest Native American Art.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Native Canadian Indian Moon Mask at Robert Pickton Trial

Last night on the evening news, there was coverage of Native Canadians demonstrating and showing support for victims' families during the Robert Pickton trial in Vancouver, BC. Many of the victims of the accused mass murderer were aboriginal so the trial is striking a deep chord within the BC Native Canadian Indian communities. One demonstrator was holding up a Native Canadian Indian moon mask in front of his face.

Native Canadian Indian carver Cody Mathias is presently carving such a moon mask right now along with two other masks which we hope will arrive at Free Spirit Gallery by mid to late February.

We just shipped one of Cody's thunderbird carvings to a customer in South Dakota and at present, there is one similar carving left at the section for Northwest Native Canadian Indian Bird Carvings.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Inuit Art and Native Art as Corporate Business Gifts

Both Inuit art and Native art have proven to be unique, memorable corporate gifts. Companies have chosen to give such artwork as business gifts for customers and business partners alike. Business clients will certainly remember and appreciate such wonderful gestures when a piece like an authentic, one of a kind soapstone carving from the Canadian Arctic or a hand carved wooden killer whale from the Pacific Northwest coast is presented.

Inuit art and Native art also make great gifts for international business associates as well since they are uniquely Canadian. This type of artwork is certainly not your usual bottle of wine type of business gift that one can get anywhere. Indeed, Canadian companies have brought Inuit art carvings along on business trips to Asia, Europe, Central America and of course, USA. When documents certifying authenticity are accompanied with such pieces, the gifts are even more special.

Aboriginal art such as Inuit or Native, have also been given as retirement presents for employees as a way to show their many years of service to a company. But employees do not have to be heading into retirement in order for such artwork to be appropriate as gifts. Free Spirit Gallery shipped 30 Inuit carvings to a major retailer in the Netherlands when that company wanted to give their employees something extra special as Christmas presents. It turned out that one of the managers there was Canadian and had the idea of giving something from his home country to the local staff. Imagine the eyes of amazement when foreign employees unwrapped hand made stone carvings from another land.

Aboriginal artwork has even made it into sporting events. There was a bowling tournament in the US west coast and the top prizes were actually authentic Pacific Northwest Native carvings. Fund raising events can also be quite memorable when prizes consist of Native art.

Take a look at our gallery and imagine certain pieces of either Inuit art or Native art can be utilized as special gifts from your organization to help you build valuable business relationships.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Polar Bear vs Walrus in Arctic Documentary

I saw a documentary on TV about the Arctic and the effects on wildlife as a result of global warming last week. It followed this polar bear who was hunting for food. When there was a lack of ice due to more rapid melting of the ice floes, the result was a lack of usual prey such as seals for the polar bear. The bear had to go after larger prey like the walrus. When the walrus colony was approached by the polar bear, the adult walruses immediately formed a wall around their young. The polar bear wasn't able to get through this wall. The bear tried to take down one of the adult walruses but the thick skin of the walrus turned out to be quite difficult. It was interesting to see the comparative sizes too as the polar bear didn't look very large anymore compared to the adult sized walruses. The walruses turned out to be too powerful for the polar bear to pin down and the tusks also turned out to be quite a deterrent as well. The bear did get hurt by the tusks and the narrator on the documentary suggested that this bear will likely not survive as a result of its failure to feed as well as the weak state that the walruses put him in. Another unfortunate result of global warming perhaps as this was a real shame to see the polar bear lie down and give up hope.

This is the first time that I've seen any interaction between two of the largest animals of the Arctic, the polar bear and the walrus. Both of these animals are popular subjects of Inuit art as skilled Inuit carvers produce excellent polar bear sculptures and walrus sculptures.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Video Clip about Native American Art and Eskimo Inuit Art

Here's the owner of Free Spirit Gallery talking about Native American art and Eskimo Inuit art. Also shown are several nice pieces of Eskimo Inuit artwork from various regions of the Canadian Arctic. Free Spirit Gallery specializes in Northwest Native American art and Eskimo Inuit art.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Northwest Native School to Open in Alaska

The Anchorage school board in Alaska has given unanimous approval for a Northwest Native charter school. Northwest Native children today "have become an MTV, bling-bling generation, and that's not the way of our people," said Liana Engebretson, an Northwest Native Athabascan and Tlingit mother. "A school like this would be so great to turn that around, and start to teach our children who they are, where they came from, and who their ancestors are." The Alaska Native Cultural Charter School could open by fall 2007. The K-6 school, open to Northwest Native and non-Native youth, would emphasize hands-on learning and involve role models from the Northwest Native community in Alaska.

For other articles, see Northwest Native Art Information at Free Spirit Gallery.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Eskimo Dogsled Race Legend Honored

Hundreds of people across Alaska turned out to honor Herbie Nayokpuk, the Eskimo dogsled Iditarod race legend, who passed away in December. Known as the "Shishmaref Cannonball, Herbie was loved by people throughout Alaska. That love is one reason his family decided to broadcast his memorial statewide. "What a life...He's always said that. What a is good. And his million-dollar smile. He's always had that persona about him," said Shirley Newberg, Nayokpuk's oldest daughter.

Though his last race was almost 20 years ago, Nayokpuk's time on the trail remained close to his heart. He was involved in every Iditarod since the Last Great Race started over 30 years ago. Even when he wasn't racing, Nayokpuk was at every start and every finish. "Even there in those early years, people flocked to Herbie. Let's face it, some people have it and some people don't. And Herbie had it," said Dan Seavey who mushed with Nayokpuk. This year, Nayokpuk's family will take his place at the race he loved so much.

For more articles, see Eskimo Art and Culture.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Inuit Art Carver of Dancing Bears Enook Manomie Passes Away

Enook Manomie, one of the best Inuit art carvers of dancing bears recently passed away up in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. His dancing bears were always special pieces as he was able to give them a real playful and happy image. Free Spirit Gallery was proud to have represented some of Enook's work in the past. Other Inuit art carvers who do carve nice dancing bears will have to try and fill a void now. Fortunately, there are several up and coming stars of dancing bears including Joanie Ragee of Cape Dorset. Free Spirit Gallery just happens to have one more dancing bear left at the gallery by Joanie - check it out at the Inuit Art Polar Bear Sculptures section.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Native American Art Dance Videos Popular on YouTube

The Native American art and dance videos produced by Free Spirit Gallery has been very popular with visitors on YouTube. These are short videos showing authentic works of Native American art as well as live Native American dance performances captured at festivals. These videos can be easily searched through terms such as native american art or native american dance at YouTube.

A list with links of these videos can also be accessed at Native American Culture Videos. Free Spirit Gallery specializes in Native American art and Eskimo art.

Friday, January 12, 2007

More Future Selection of Indian Tribal Masks

One of our best Indian tribal artists, Cody Mathias, will be making three Indian tribal masks for us. Therefore, our customers will soon have a selection of different masks to choose from. Previously, Cody made only one mask at a time for Free Spirit Gallery but we commissioned him to make more this time around. He will being making a moon mask, a bear mask and either a wild man or wild woman mask for us. They should be completed and shipped here to Free Spirit Gallery by mid to late February.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

North West Coast Artists Making More Art For Us

I spoke to three of our favorite North West Coast artists last night, Cody Mathias, Paul Joseph and Gary Baker. They will all be making new North West Coast art for Free Spirit Gallery including carvings of salmons, killerwhales, eagles and masks. We expect some to start arriving around mid February.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Native American Indians Name New White Buffalo

Native American Indians from several tribes gathered at the naming ceremony for the new and rare white baby buffalo born in Farmington, Pensylvannia. The calf was named Kenahkihine'n, a Native American Indian Lenape word meaning "watch over us." About 2,500 people, many of them Native American Indians, attended the 2 1/2-hour ceremony that included singing, prayers, a healing service and dance.

There's a huge resource of 2,500 Native American Indian names and meanings available in one book for those who are enthusiasts of Native American Indian culture, art or languages. It is also a great source of Native American Indian names for those searching for the perfect name for a future baby, pet or in this case, a white buffalo.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rare White Buffalo Born In Pennsylvannia

A rare white male buffalo calf was born November 12 at the Woodland Zoo in Farmington, Pennsylvannia. Sonny Herring, owner of the zoo found the calf when he went out to feed two female buffaloes. At first, he thought a goat from the petting zoo had gotten into the pen. As he got closer, he realized that the calf was indeed a buffalo. "Buffalo usually breed in the fall and give birth in the spring," said Mr. Herring, who has no explanation as to why this calf was born in November. Native Americans put special significance to the arrival of a white buffalo. They have even depicted the white buffalo as a subject in their Native American artwork. This artwork in turn as been put on coins - see Native American art on Coins. See Free Spirit Gallery for wonderful Native American Art.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

New Walrus Inuit Carving

Free Spirit Gallery has also received a new walrus Inuit carving as a new addition to its Eskimo sculptures stock. As with other walrus carvings, the tusks of this piece were carved from caribou antler. This walrus is part of the plans to bring in a slightly lower priced level of walruses that were previously unavailable. See this new walrus (iwa-18) at the Inuit Walrus Carvings section.

walrus inuit carvings eskimo sculptures

Friday, January 05, 2007

More Polar Bears as Part of New Eskimo Art Sculptures

As part of a new supply of Eskimo sculptures, Free Spirit Gallery has received new polar bears. Both of these polar bear sculptures are superb and one of the attractive features of them are that they are priced well below $300 US. Previously, the polar bears we had in our gallery were fairly large and high end at around $400 US or higher. These new polar bears will be perfect for customers who still want to acquire nice bear Eskimo sculptures but at a lower price range. Free Spirit Gallery's prices are already 20% to 50% lower than typical retail street galleries and shipping within North America for these new polar bears is free of charge which really sweetens the deal for them.

Take a look at these new bears at our Eskimo Sculptures page of Polar Bears. The new polar bears are items ibe-46 and ibe-47.

eskimo sculptures polar bears eskimo sculptures polar bears

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Inuit Inukshuk Carvings Are In

Free Spirit Gallery added four new Inuit Inukshuk carvings today. They are all from Nunavut from either Cape Dorset or Iqaluit. They were all carved from a nice greenish stone with white natural veining. Check them out as they will probably be bought relatively quickly as the Inukshuk carvings at Free Spirit Gallery tend to move pretty fast. Perhaps this is due to the publicity of the Inukshuk with the Vancouver winter Olympics.

For more background information on the inukshuk, see the Inuit Inukshuk article.

inuit inukshuk carvings inuit inukshuk carvings

New Inuit Carvings Planned

We are hoping to get some new Inuit carvings within the next couple of days including some new inukshuk carvings since they were all sold out in December. Also in the plans are more polar bear and walrus carvings in slightly lower price ranges compared to what we already have currently. In contrast, we also hope to acquire a seal carving or two in a slightly higher price range compared to what we normally have in order to offer a larger seal piece to our customers. Of course, we will announce their arrival here at the Inuit and Native Art Bulletin as soon as they come in.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Native American Names of Places in the United States

There are many places including towns and states that were named after Native American words or names. In fact, about 50% of the states were named using Native American words. Many of these places have names that we almost take for granted these days and most people are unaware of their aboriginal origins. A partial list of some well known places in the United States and their meanings are below.

Alabama : from Choctaw word meaning “thicket clearers” or “vegetation gatherers”

Alaska: from Aleut word meaning “great land” or “that which the sea breaks against”

Chicago: from Algonquian word meaning “garlic field”

Illinois: from Algonquian word meaning “tribe of superior men”

Kansas: from Sioux word meaning “people of the south wind”

Kentucky: from an Iroquois word meaning “land of tomorrow”

Massachusetts: from Massachusett word meaning “at or about the great hill”

Minnesota: from Dakota word meaning “sky tinted water”

Manhattan: from Algonquian word meaning “isolated thing in water”

Milwaukee: from Algonquian word meaning “good spot or place”

Missouri: from Missouri word meaning “town of large canoes”

Nebraska: from Oto word meaning “flat water”

North/South Dakota: from Sioux word meaning “allies”

Ohio: from Algonquian word meaning “great river”

Oklahoma: from two Choctaw words meaning “red people”

Saratoga: from Mohawk word meaning “springs of water from the hillside”

Tahoe: from Washo word meaning “big water”

Utah: from Ute word meaning “people of the mountains”

Wyoming: from Delaware word meaning “mountains and valleys alternating”

A huge resource of 2,500 Native American names and meanings is available in one book. Click on the graphic below for more details.

native american indian information art names book

Pacific Northwestern Native First Nation Elder's Stories

Ellen White, an 84 year old Pacific Northwest Native First Nation elder living on Vancouver Island has written down her nation's ancient stories for future generations. A respected elder of the Pacific Northwestern Native Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, BC, White is also known as Kwulasulwut, meaning "Many Stars."

While Ellen began writing children's books in 1981, her new book, Ellen White Legends and Teachings of Xeel's, The Creator, is her first book aimed at teens and adults. She began this project of telling the stories in her native tongue to her daughter, Vicki White, who helped translate them into English. At the end of each story, White encourages readers to draw their own conclusions with questions like "What did the story tell you? Did it give you something new to think about? How did the story make you feel?"

Ellen says the stories are as relevant now as they were hundreds of years ago. People have the same issues as in the stories and it's only the forms that have changed.

For more information on culture, see Pacific Northwestern Native First Nation Art and Culture.