Indian Market

Family-made outfits, colorful attire highlights of Indian Market clothing contest

With a feather headdress, spear and face paint, Malachi Tsoodle-Nelson (Navajo and Kiowa) drew attention from many camera-toting tourists Sunday at the 92nd annual Santa Fe Indian Market. One even asked Tsoodle-Neslon, “Can I get a warrior’s stance?” And the 23-year-old obliged by lifting his prop and contorting his face into a snarl.

  • Updated 7:17 pm

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Native couture, arts, fellowships and more

Santa Fe Indian Market, now in its 92nd year, is not just a show and sale of Native American art. It’s also a celebration of the Native cultures, past and present, which underlie and inform that work — and a glimpse into the future of these very special artists and art forms.

Indian Market week events

Around town, museums, galleries and special events offer something for everyone. Click here to see events from Tuesday, Aug. 13 - Sunday, Aug. 18. 

Indian Art showcased in Santa Fe

SWAIA’s Indian Market may be the biggest show in town this week, but it’s not the only one in Santa Fe. These four museums spotlight the work of Indian artists throughout the year.

Cinema Showcase



Honoring traditional and contemporary regalia at the Native American Clothing Contest

It is my favorite moment of Indian Market. Adorable tiny tots, beautiful children, handsome men and gorgeous women are all decked out in fine traditional and contemporary regalia. The wearers carry a noticeable aura of pride as they stand tall and move with elegant grace on stage in front of the overflowing audience of smiling onlookers. It is beauty embodied. It is the Native American Clothing Contest.

Native high fashion: then, now and into the future

The year was 1945. It was fall in Phoenix, and a young Cherokee man had just returned from serving in World War II for nearly four years. As he walked up to a building on the dusty roads of the small town of Scottsdale, he unknowingly made a decision that would continue to have an impact to this day.

In the spotlight

Some would argue that fashion is as integral to culture as language and art, with humans using clothing to identify themselves and their kin since the beginning of recorded time. The couture of artists Virgil Ortiz and Orlando Dugi supports that theory: Through their collections, contemporary Native-designed fashion is making an international name for itself and demonstrating that American Indians are fashion-forward and cutting-edge in their creation of the new Native silhouette. 

Glitter inspired by starlight

In Grey Mountain, Arizona, where Navajo beadworker and fashion designer Orlando Dugi found his first love — fashion — at age 4, the night sky is like a silver-studded swatch of black velvet draped from one end of the earth to the other. 

Beyond Buckskin

Beyond Buckskin was launched in 2009 as a place dedicated to showcasing the exciting world of Native American fashion. From the Northwest Coast to the Great Plains, and from Mohawk territory to the pueblos of New Mexico, Beyond Buckskin features the work of designers from throughout the U.S. and Canada (with a few excursions to other indigenous lands, like Maori Aotearoa).


Indian Market, 2013

This edition of The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Indian Market magazine makes a special effort to address the extended timeline of Native arts. You’ll find stories here about the artists who took Best of Show and Best of Classification in 2012, and those who received fellowships in 2013 from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the organization that produces Indian Market. This year’s recipients of the SWAIA’s Lifetime Achievement Allan Houser Legacy and Povi’ka awards for their longtime contributions to the American Indian art world are also honored, as are the potters who took home two new awards initiated in 2012: the Tammy Garcia Award for Excellence and the Traditional Pueblo Pottery Award.


Indian Market, 2012

In addition to the invaluable artists’ directory and booth locator map found in every edition, the 2012 Indian Market book includes a listing of all the events that help create what has been called the great community family reunion: a unique weeklong Native cinema showcase; the Native American clothing contest; the live auction, awards presentations, lectures and symposia; and the Buffalo Thunder stage showcasing Pueblo and Native Alaskan dances. Come along with our writers to the traditional potters’ powwow and to the home and studio of award-winning Santa Clara Pueblo potter Jody Naranjo. Meet the midcareer mavericks who are expanding the definition of Native art and the people who took top honors at the 2011 show. SWAIA’s official guide to 91st Indian Market celebrates the color, diversity and excitement of the event—and the people who make it happen.

Today’s New Mexican, April 16, 2014

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