Drawing from archival resources and original research and interviews, this book tells the rich and complex story of the Indian curio trade in New Mexico. Starting with the arrival of the railroad in 1880, Pueblo and Navajo artisans collaborated with non-Indian traders and dealers to invent artifacts and souvenirs that had no purpose but to satisfy the growing demand for Native-made objects. From its inception, the curio trade comprised cottage industries, retail spaces, and a vast mail-order trade, selling items ranging from silver and turquoise jewelry, pottery, to handbags and toys. The curio trade had a lasting impact and helped popularize Native American art in the Southwest.
About the Author
Jonathan Batkin is director of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe. He is the author of numerous publications including Clay People (Wheelwright Museum).