Santa Fe Indian Market

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Cherish Parrish (Gun Lake Band Potawatomi) explains her baskets to visitors at her booth

Santa Fe Indian Market is an annual art market held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA over two days on the weekend after the third Thursday in August and draws an estimated 100,000 people to the city from around the world. The Market was first held in 1922 as the First Annual Exhibition of Indian Arts and Crafts. It was part of an expanded Fiesta de Santa Fe sponsored by the Museum of New Mexico.[1] In 1936, the New Mexico Association on Indian Affairs took over the event.[2]

It is now organized by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA)[3] and showcases work from about 1,200 of the top Native American (American Indian) artists from various tribes across the country.[2] The market features pottery, jewellery, textile weavings, painting, sculpture, beadwork, basketry, and other traditional and contemporary work. It is the oldest and largest juried Native American art showcase in the world.[4] The economic impact of the Market has been calculated at more than $19 million[5]

Artists display their work in booths around the Santa Fe Plaza and adjacent streets, selling directly to the general public.In order to participate, all artists must provide proof of enrollment in a federally recognized tribe, and their work must meet strict quality and authentic materials standards. Art experts judge the work and distribute awards and prize money in various categories. On the evening before the Market's opening, members of SWAIA may attend a preview of representative works by the artists as well as the winners in each category. It is a way for potential buyers to see the winning artworks as well as what will be sold the following day. Many buyers make a point of arriving downtown very early in the morning, and it is not unusual to find artists having sold out within a few hours.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Traugott, Joseph (2007). The Art of New Mexico : How the West Is One. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press. p. 95. ISBN 9780890134979. 
  2. ^ a b Tryk, Sheila, Santa Fe Indian Market: Showcase of Native American Art, Santa Fe: Tierra Publications, 1993. ISBN 0-9622807-4-7.
  3. ^ SWAIA Official Website
  4. ^ Guide to the Indian Market
  5. ^ "Santa Fe Indian Market's economic impact more than $19 million, survey shows." New Mexico Business Weekly, 24 January 2002.

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