- By Tamara Ikenberg
This weekend and next week, Indian Country is all about shopping and entertaining Indigenous for the holidays.
Get ready for a combo of established seasonal traditions like the Cherokee Art Market and Holidays at the Heard, and brand new shopping and culture celebrations, like the Inaugural Winter Arts Market at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City. Also keep your eye out for a unique, tongue-in-cheek gift for your favorite Aunty.
Navigate Native News Online’s event guide for the best of the season’s Indigenous offerings.
The Aunty Shirt
WHEN: Available now
WHERE: apsaalookedesignsbydella.com; $25
Packed with pistols, cigs and headscarves, Crow designer Della Bighair-Stump’s new t-shirts are the ultimate expression of Aunty ‘Tude.
“We all have that special aunty in our lives and I dedicate this shirt to them,” Bighair-Stump, owner of Designs by Della, told Native News Online. “My late aunt was the best, she was wild, funny and always with a cigarette...The old folks back in the day dressed this way; cloth dress, moccasins, leather belt, scarf on the head, sunglasses and a cigarette.. Just the old Crow style.”
The photo on the shirt was taken at Crow Fair 2021 right before the tipi race, and the assortment of Aunties on the shirt, from left to right, are Bighair-Stump’s sister Sereatha Kills Pretty Enemy, Bighair-Stump herself, sister Sariah Two Leggings and sister Nicole Old Coyote.
Bighair-Stump offered insight into the featured Aunties and their appearances on the shirt.
“Sereatha has her real pistol, registered to her, and I really do carry a knife in my purse, but not my big machete,” Bighair-Stump said. “Sariah is the sweet-talking aunty, and doesn’t smoke in real life, but looks like she does. And then there is Nicole, who really does cuss everyone out.”
The Aunty shirt is a unisex style that comes in adult sizes small to 5X.
Cherokee Art Market
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 6 through Friday, Dec. 17
WHERE: Event page
Cherokee artist Renée Hoover tells turtle stories via her round reed baskets, and wants her whimsical woven work to spark childrens’ storytelling skills .
The award-winning Hoover, a featured artist at this year’s virtual Cherokee Art Market, is a childhood education veteran who combines her art with her passion for inspiring kids to use their own creativity.
Among the baskets that will be available at the market is “Tell Me Turtle Stories,” her fifth “story basket.” With a large turtle perched on the lid and baby turtles nestled within the basket, the piece could be a jumping-off point for a child to form their own family story.
The Cherokee Art Market, which used to take place in perso at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, features work from dozens of elite Indigenous artists throughout the country. It is entirely online this year.
Winter Holiday Arts Market
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: First Americans Museum, 659 First American Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK; Event page
It’s the first holiday season for the First Americans Museum.
The museum dedicated to the 39 tribes of Oklahoma opened in September, and this weekend it is gifting visitors with a grand Inaugural Winter Arts Market sweetened with hot chocolate and cookies from the Arbor Cafe.
In addition to the art sale, attractions and activities include a Porcupine Quillwork Ornament workshop with Monica Jo Raphael and a reading by Sarah Brown of Metro Library of the book Native American Night Before Christmas by Cherokee and Choctaw author Gary Robinson.
Participating market artists include printmaker Marwin Begaye, textile artist Leslie Deer, painters and jewelry makers Benjamin Harjo, Jr. and Heidi Bigknife, textile and jewelry makers Jessica Harjo and Ted Moore Jr., beadworker Bridgette Hoshont'omba and jeweler and metalsmith Dina Huntinghorse, and potters and weavers Karin Walkingstick and Kristie Vann.
There will also be information booths from community partners Metropolitan Library System and Rock the Native Vote.
The Winter Holiday Arts Market is free to attend, but workshops and museum gallery entry can be purchased online at famok.org.
Holidays at the Heard
WHEN: Through Friday, Dec. 31
WHERE: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ; Event page
Holidays at the Heard is a seasonal Phoenix tradition brimming with Indigenous art and music.
This weekend, Navajo performer and culture bearer Lane Jensen will play traditional flute. The rest of the month’s featured performers are Diné, Oneida, Potawatomi and Kickapoo violinist Sage Cornelius, San Carlos Apache and Diné acoustic rock metal artist Sage Bond, Hopi and Choctaw dancer Moontee Sinquah, teenage Diné performers The Martin Sisters, World Champion hoop dancers Tony Duncan and Family, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek and Euchee flutist and guitarist Randy Kemp, and the Yellowhouse Dancers.
Throughout the month, artists will make appearances and sell their work in the museum shop. This weekend, look for Sam Gray (Navajo), Piki Wadsworth (Hopi), and Ray Tracey (Navajo).
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