Mini Trend: Indian Market by Maria Buonagura
Growing up in Brooklyn, Maria was fortunate to travel every August with her family throughout the United States to visit many National Parks and Monuments. Especially during trips to the West and Southwest, she frequently came upon Indian Reservations and crossed paths with Native Americans; she met fascinating people and awed at their beautiful turquoise jewelry, suede moccasins, and beaded belts.
As she spent more and more vacations traveling west of the Mississippi, Maria fell in love with the crafts from various native American tribes. Whether Sioux in Montana, Apache in Arizona, or Cheyenne in Wyoming, she’d beg her parents to buy something (anything!) to remind her of the trips and purveyors. “I remember bringing home fabric dolls, beaded coin purses and suede belts,” she said.
In adulthood, Maria is still lucky to travel and maintain a deep appreciation for Native American crafts. So, it’s not surprising that several years ago, she caught a magazine article on Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s a yearly two-day August gathering at Santa Fe Plaza with over 700 Native American juried artists representing over 200 federally recognized tribes. It features paintings, jewelry, basketry, pottery, textile weavings, beadwork, and much more.
Maria recounts her experience: “A few years back, I attended my first Indian Market. And, as luck would have it, two extraordinary things happened. I met a neighbor, a Shinnecock jewelry artist who was currently living, of all places, Brooklyn! And, I found Native American miniatures! I was in heaven. I brought home a miniature Navajo rug, a mini Hopi Kachina doll, and a tiny piece of Zuni pottery.”
Since then, she’s added to her mini American Indian collection with pieces like a tiny leather hand-painted drum, a small feathered tomahawk, and a mini hand-loomed tray.
Maria admires the meaningful colors and originality of Native Americans, plus adores the art of the miniature. She highly suggests a visit to Santa Fe during the month of August.
The 2018 market runs from August 18-19. And who knows? You might unexpectedly meet a neighbor, too.
Maria Buonagura has more than two decades of experience in the fashion industry, previously working as a stylist, buyer and fashion photographer’s assistant. Check out her Coroflot profile to learn more. Like what you see here? Stay tuned for more “daily mini trends” to come!