"This is my second home": The Native American Vendors Program of the Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, New Mexico
AuthorHoerig, Karl Alfred
AdvisorBasso, Ellen B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Native American Vendors Program of the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a major tourist attraction and a central locus of the Native American arts and crafts market in the American Southwest. Known as the Portal Program for its location under the front portal, or porch, of the Palace of the Governors on Santa Fe's central plaza, the program is descended from informal markets held in the same location since the mid-nineteenth century. The Portal became a regular venue for Native American arts and crafts beginning in the 1930s when the New Mexico Association on Indian Affairs (now the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts) sponsored weekend markets during the summer months. The market continued to grow in popularity under the management and organization of the Native American vendors. In the early 1970s the Museum of New Mexico officially recognized the program, and in response to legal challenges in the 1970s and 1980s, the Portal was formalized as an educational program. Today the Portal is closely managed by the program's participants, with strict guidelines regulating participation in the program and the quality of objects sold. The Portal is much more than just a place to buy and sell indigenous art. It is an economically important Native American workplace that supports hundreds of families throughout New Mexico. It is also a socially important community for the program's participants. As a museum program, the Portal is an instructive example of how Native American people and state institutions can work together to promote understanding and to support indigenous cultures. Finally, the Portal is a place of dynamic interaction between a diverse group of Native American artists. As such it is central in the development of new artistic styles and forms while at the same time protecting traditional production techniques. The lives of Native American people are complex, with many dividing time between traditional responsibilities in their home communities and employment and social involvement in the broader national and global society. This work reflects that reality and provides one examination of contemporary Native American experience.
Degree ProgramGraduate College