Bid and Buy @ Institute for American Indian Studies Online Auction

The Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut is hosting its’ first online auction this year from December 3 – December 16, 2020. This online auction offers fans of the museum and of Native American art to switch from being observers of art to active collectors. Whether you are a long time collector of Native American art and artifacts, art-curious, or a first time collector, this online auction offers a rare opportunity to purchase items specially curated by the Institute for Native American Studies.

The Institute’s online auction is offering nineteen items at a variety of price points that make looking and bidding easy and fun. The proceeds from the auction will raise essential funds for the Institute’s core mission and will help to underwrite new educational programs and exhibitions. The artists represented in this first online auction play an intrinsic role because all items featured are authentic and have been carefully curated by one of the leading Native American museums in the country.

Bidding on one of the four Iroquois Corn Husk dolls offered, a hoop-dancer, a lacrosse player, with bow and arrow, and a doll with a shield is the chance to own an iconic figure that represents a cherished Native American legend. The Iroquois People’s legend of the Corn Husk doll tells the story of how the first doll was made by the Corn Spirit. It says that this doll had a beautiful face and played with Iroquois children. When the doll saw its reflection, it became vain and treated the children badly. After many warnings, the Corn Spirit took the beautiful features away from the doll as a lesson in humility. Since that time, the Iroquois people do not put a face on their Corn Husk dolls to remind them not to think that they are better than anyone else.

Another hard to find item offered are handmade one-of-a-kind porcelain dolls by Navajo artist Cheryl Yazza of Four Corners. The dolls are not only realistic they are also highly collectible. Yazza creates her own molds and hand pours the porcelain. After she fires the porcelain three times, she meticulously hand paints each face. The clothes are handmade and the jewelry is hand stung or hand sewn on the clothes. Bidding starts at $125 for dolls that often cost over $500.

Two of the most unusual items in this auction include an authentic fox bow quiver wall hanging by Navajo artist Curtis Bitsui that comes with a certificate of authenticity. This wall hanging was made by hand using genuine Red Fox fur including the tail, leather fringe, beads, a medicine wheel, and prayer feathers. It also has a hanging cord making it easy to display. The handwoven twined bag by Abenaki artist Vera Longtoe Sheehan is another gem offered in this auction. This twined bag is based on traditional fiber arts that have been passed down for countless generations. It represents the way Vera preserves the tradition of her ancestors with the knowledge of Wabanaki culture to create one of kind bags like this work of functional art. The auction also offers a distinctive selection of jewelry from turquoise cuff bracelets to necklaces and earrings.

If you are in the market for a truly stunning sculpture, don’t miss the chance to bid on the piece called “Strength of our People” by Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux artist, Janice Albro of South Dakota. The sculpture is signed and numbered 3 out of 20 pieces that date to 1993. This spectacular bronze depicts a fire with smoke rising up, forming into the image of the head of a person holding a pipe that transforms into a skull and finally into a crow. The crow symbol signifies wisdom, some Native American tribes believe that the crow has the power to talk and is considered the smartest bird. The crow is also the sacred bird of the Ghost Dance.

To join the Institute in celebrating the exhilarating intersection of collecting and patronage visit and start bidding! The sale closes on December 16, 2020, at 3 p.m. Pick–up for items is available at the Museum from Tuesday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Shipping is available for an additional fee.

About the Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT

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