Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards

To Honor the Cultures of Arizona Native American Tribes

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Festival of Trees ~ Our Major Fund-Raiser

Arizona Indian Living Treasures to Participate in Festival of Trees

This week-long event featured elaborately ornamented trees-turned-art by Sedona's favorite artists.

Arizona Indian Living Treasure Awards, Inc. receives a portion of the funds raised by the Festival of Trees held in Tlaquepaque each fall. Highlights of the 2011 AILTA Christmas tree will be ornaments made by Delbridge Honanie, a Living Treasure, Howard Sice, AILTA president, and eminent Hopi artist Rachel Sahmie, along with other distinguished Native American artists. The purchaser of our unique tree will be publicly acknowledged in the AILTA award ceremony program next October at the Heard Museum.

In 2010, an AILTA Christmas tree featuring hand-made ornaments by Native American artists was one of the outstanding displays at The Festival of Trees at Tlaquepaque. AILTA was founded at Tlaquepaque twenty-three years ago and among the first Living Treasures to receive their awards at Tlaquepaque were Navajo codetalker, Carl Gorman, and famed Hopi silversmith, Charles Loloma.

The tree was decorated with hand-painted pottery ornaments by Hopi Rachel Sahmie, whose work is in the permanent collection of many museums. Her sister, Bonnie Chapella, a noted quiltmaker, made a quilted star and skirt of fabric she painted with Hopi symbols. They are descendants of the historic Hopi potter, Nampeyo.

Howard Sice of Hopi and Laguna Pueblo affiliation created delicately engraved copper ornaments based on the medallions he made for light fixtures along Central Avenue in Phoenix. His work is in the permanent collection of The Heard Museum.

Hopi painter, carver and sculptor, Gerry Quotskuyva, contributed four carved and painted ornaments based on traditional Hopi kachinas and his mother, Frances Quotskuyva Webster donated twelve hand-painted Kachina rattle ornaments.

Other artists participating in 2010 were Hopi carver Anderson Koinva with small toy drum ornaments, Zuni artist, Carmelita Peketewa, with her beaded angels, and Amil Pedro of Maricopa/Cahuilla/Quechan heritage with carved and painted ornaments.

Both the Museum of Northern Arizona Gift Shop and The Heard Museum Gift Shop donated ornaments that include Navajo animals, Huchiol beaded balls, and miniature Hopi and Apache basket ornaments. Collected individually, the ornaments on this tree would have cost more than $3500 and all represent the love and dedication Indian artists feel towards the elders who educated and inspired them.

Previous AILTA Recipients

Elda Butler
2003
Craft: Cultural Preservationist
Tribe: Mojave
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With your gift, The AILTA organization will continue our work to honor the lifetime achievements of Arizona American Indian traditional artists, teachers, cultural and language preservationists.
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