Every year, we choose a theme to create a collective vision for the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival. Our 2017 theme is “Shared Stories.”
Like many cultures, Native Americans use storytelling as a way to pass down their customs, history and heritage. Storytelling traditions allow tribes to transmit their mythological, spiritual, and historical understandings of themselves and the worlds they inhabit to their children and to their children’s children. These stories share, preserve, and pay tribute to their early beginnings, so their legacy will not be forgotten. It is this legacy that is honored by our artists at the Native Treasures: Indian Arts festival. The wide variety of jewelry, pottery, weavings, basketry, beadwork, and sculpture speak to the individuality of each tribe’s stories while at the same time revealing the themes that recur throughout native culture.
Most Native American stories were intended to either explain or illustrate important aspects of their tribal culture. The most common are creation myths; interactions with spiritual teachers; lessons learned about right living and behavior; magical tales of cultural or individual transformation; explanations for natural phenomena; instructional stories about the evolution of survival skills, such as hunting, farming, or building; and wisdom teachings from animal masters.
These stories show reverence for their ancestors and respect for ancient wisdom and are preserved in the works of Native Treasure’s artists. From the traditional to the contemporary, to young and emerging artists, to the masters that have practiced their art for generations, the over 200 artists that show at the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival represent more than 40 tribes and pueblos across North America.
We hope you will join us this year to explore the stories shared at the festival and experience a glimpse of the past that is being carried forward into future generations through these incredible artists.