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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Basket-Maker From Washington Wins Best Of Show At Santa Fe Indian Market
by Jackie Jadrnak - Albuquerque Journal North Reporter
credits: all photo by Eddie Moore - Albuquerque Journal

A basket rich with detail and symbolism brought the Best of Show award at Santa Fe Indian Market to Carol Emarthle-Douglas (Northern Arapaho/Seminole), who said it is a tribute to all the mothers and the cultural burdens they carry.

Carol Emarthle-Douglas, second from left, is congratulated by her cousin Diane Emarthle, from Santa Fe, after she won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market Friday. Her winning entry was the basket in the foreground.

"This is a thrill," said the winner, adding that she wasn't thinking at all that her name would be called.

The announcement was made Friday afternoon at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, where a table was filled with sophisticated creations that won the 11 Best of Classification prizes, along with rows of tables holding work reflecting some of the best art created by Native American artists. More than 1,000 are participating in the Saturday and Sunday market that will fill Santa Fe's Plaza and surrounding streets.

Emarthle-Douglas, who lives in a Seattle suburb, said she started taking arts classes almost 20 years ago when her children were small. Drawing didn't work out for her, so she started taking basket-making classes and the coiled technique "just clicked" for her, she said.

Her Best of Show winner, though, incorporated a range of additional techniques, including plaiting and twining

This is a detail of the Best of Show winner at this year's Santa Fe Indian Market, a basket by Carol Emarthle-Douglas (Northern Arapaho/Seminole).

— whatever was traditional for the tribes represented by the 11 figures of women circling the sides of her basket. Each figure carries a small basket of her tribe hanging both inside the outside the main basket, with many of those made from traditional materials from seaweed to bark. The tiny baskets attached to the figures range from a berry basket to a cradleboard.

Dark, repeating patterns across the main basket's bottom represent the women's footprints, she added. That main basket is constructed from contemporary materials, she said: hemp with waxed linen thread wound around it.

Emarthle-Douglas said she started working on it in May. Basket-weavers' work is so time-consuming it requires a lot of patience both from them and from their families, she said, thanking her own for their support. She said she has taken part in Indian Market since 2000 and once before won Best of Classification, but never Best of Show.

Other Best of Classification winners are:

Jewelry: Ernest Benally (Navajo) for a bolo tie with three different figures in the ornament, the largest of which has jagged arrows for arms.

Pottery: Nancy Youngblood (Santa Clara Pueblo) for a black pot adorned with horses and wavy lines. "This is my 41st Indian Market. The last time I won I was pregnant with my oldest son Chris — who won it (the pottery classification) last year!" she said.

Nancy Youngblood (Santa Clara Pueblo) won the best of classification for pottery at the 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market.

Paintings, drawings, graphics and photography: David Dalasohya Jr. (Hopi/Laguna Pueblo) said he was born and raised in southern California, so he incorporated both urban and Hopi objects in his painting, including low-riders and katsinas.

Wooden Pueblo figurative carving: Bryant M. Honyouti (Hopi) adorned with multi-colored figures of katsinas and dancers and more, along with scenes from Hopi life. He said everything he learned and that inspired him was taught to him by his father.

Sculpture: Troy Sice (Zuni) for small, carved fetishes of an owl and mouse engaged in a dance. He said he is the third generation of traditional fetish carvers, including his grandfather who started in the 1930s. "He's the foundation for what I do," Sice said.

Textiles: D.Y. Begay (Diné) for a striped blanket in shades of green, brown and beige. She said she comes from a small community in Arizona, but most of the time now lives in Santa Fe.

Diverse forms: Jamie and Sandra Okuma (Luiseno/Shoshone Bannock) combined high fashion with traditional beading, shells and quillwork in two dresses.

Beadwork and quillwork: Jackie Bread (Blackfeet) from Montana for a purse with beaded portraits of Native men. "Beadwork takes a very long time to do," she said. "My family is very supportive of me."

Youth: Twelve-year-old Camrya Growing Thunder for a colorful beaded creation featuring Spotted Elk.

Moving image: Kyle Bell (Thlopthlocca) of Oklahoma for "Native Evolution," a documentary on the street art done by Steven Grounds. "His work is really unique. I didn't see anyone else doing it," Bell said, adding that he started work on the film in January and just recently finished it. He also advised, "Whether you're a artist, filmmaker or musician, keep being creative."

Basketry: Best of Show winner Carol Emarthle-Douglas.

Jamie and Sandra Okuma (Luiseno/Shoshone Bannock) won the best of classification for diverse art form with these dresses at the 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market.
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