Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shopping with the Courtyard Vendors at the Gallup Ceremonial

One of the enjoyable things to do at Gallup Ceremonial is shopping with the vendors who make authentic hand made items. The Ceremonial screens the vendors and I think this year there were an exceptional number of very high quality items for sale.

I visited with the vendors in the outdoor courtyard at the Convention Center (outside the exhibit hall) and enjoyed seeing some well-known artists from Hopi, Zuni and, of course, the local area.

I visited with Brad Panteah whom I first met at the Heard Indian Market in Phoenix. He does some interesting contemporary overlay silverwork. My friend purchased bear earrings from him years ago. I was concerned about Brad as he often came to shows on oxygen and seemed very tired. However, this year, he looked much healthier and was cheerfully selling sans oxygen. He's a smart businessman who has items at all price points. He makes simple stampwork silver tree ornaments that sell for only $30.

I watched as D. Smallcanyon (I'm sorry I forgot her first name) from Gallup sold a beautiful Squash Blossom necklace that she made. The necklace and earrings went for only $400. The elderly woman whose husband purchased the set was noticeably moved. She was so thrilled to be able to have the necklace that she had tears in her eyes. I purchased a lovely corn or squashblossom pair of silver and turquoise from her for only $20 for the pair. I thought that was very reasonable.

Farther down along the row of vendors I encountered a nice couple with jewelry done in the Hopi style. It was very well done....lovely. Calvin Peterson is from Chandler, Arizona and anticipates opening a jewelry store soon. Meanwhile his simple silver creations were going well. I purchased a nice heavy sterling ring with a turtle symbol for $40, again a reasonable price.

There was a wonderful variety of bead work, silver jewelry, pottery, quilts and so many more creative products I can't list them. If you shop the vendors at Ceremonial, there is a good chance you will come home with a collectible item at a bargain price.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth R. Rose