The hallmark of a good event is when it comes back year after year. This year the Santa Fe Indian Market will be in its 93rd year. Starting on August 18th and running through August 24th, visitors will get to learn about contemporary Indian arts and cultures, meet artists from all over the US and Canada, buy authentic art of all kinds, and ultimately attend an event that has no equal.
It is estimated that more than 175,000 people from all over the world will be flocking to Santa Fe to experience this unique event and visitors will need to book their accommodations well in advance.
So what is Indian Market?
The Santa Fe Indian Market is an annual event showcasing Indian arts run by an organization called the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA). The aim of SWAIA is to bring Indian arts to the attention of the broader public. This event has the distinction of being the largest of its kind in the world and the largest cultural event in the southwestern United States. On average more than 1,100 artists take part each year. Only authentic Indian art is featured and some of the artists have been taking part for 50 years or more.
Just before Indian Market takes place (August 23rd & 24th), we have Indian Market Week. This is when visitors can learn more about Indian culture through films, literature, music, fashion, and other related events produced by the artists.
One of the highlights of the market week is the ceremony for the Best of Show. The organizers present more than $100,000 in prizes. One piece of artwork will be selected from the hundreds that are submitted and this will be given the status of Best in Show. This is considered to be the most important award in Native arts and is highly sought after. Unfortunately, only those who are members of the SWAIA can attend this particular ceremony but later the same day there are previews that can be attended by the general public.
We regularly see visitors who stay with us during the Indian Market going home laden with native arts and crafts including textiles, pottery, jewelry, wood carvings and paintings. While these make great souvenirs or gifts, it is also an opportunity to support the individual artists and help them to continue their work. To find out more check out the official SWAIA website.