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American Indian Craft Fair Kicks-off Holiday Shopping Season

Beadwork, jewelry, art, and native clothing will be among the crafts available at the American Indian Craft Fair on Saturday, December 3 in the Event Center Corridor at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

The craft fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is a perfect spot to stock up on holiday gifts.

More than 35 crafters and creators will be represented at this year’s fair, and all of them are members of Native Groups. Organizer Tina Walker said the roster for 2022 represents the largest number of artisans in the fair’s 25-year history.

“It’s safe to say this is the biggest American Indian Craft Fair we’ve ever had,” said Tina, administrative assistant for member benefits for the Oneida Indian Nation. “Guests love these craft fairs because they’re great places to stock up on original and authentic crafts—not only for themselves, but also for their loved ones.”

In addition to jewelry and beadwork being for sale, Tina said artisans also will peddle regalia and other outfits for ceremonies.

She noted that this year’s fair also will spotlight Haudenosaunee Social Dance Exhibitions featuring Chris Thomas and his Smoke Dancers at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Chris is known for telling stories between songs so audience members know exactly what each song is about.

Tina herself has been running the craft fair for the last 11 years Turning Stone has held it. She said historically jewelry has been the most popular item for sale, followed closely by clothing and more.

The craft fair also represents a commitment on the part of the Oneida Indian Nation to do whatever it can to keep American Indian culture alive. Tina said the 35+ artists represent nearly 16 different tribes, meaning the fair is truly a multicultural event. She noted that celebrating these different cultures is what makes her job fun.

“The Oneida IIndian Nation always has been such an advocate of cultivating culture—not only our culture, but the culture of other groups from the area,” she said. “It means a lot to know we have their support every year.”

 

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