The old trading post roof in Toadlena, New Mexico, with Mark's Old Santa Fe Trail gallery sign incorporated into the scene:Mark Winter celebrated 100 years of rug trading at Toadlena on June 20th, honoring several families with master weavers in three successive generations. Credit goes to the weavers for their incredible work, but to Mark as well for helping to elevate the demand for the highest quality pieces. Say what you will about the long complex history of "Indian Traders" on the Rez (see Wilkins, "Patterns of Exchange", U. of Oklahoma Press, and M'Closkey, "Swept Under the Rug", UNM Press), Mark is going above and beyond the traditional role of the Trader and doing vital geneological, historical, cultural, and community work. And the appreciation from the community seems genuine and, as always, good-humoured.
Toadlena Trading Post has its feet firmly planted in the present, with eyes to both the past and the future. This makes it an invaluable resource for and expression of the local Navajo/Dine community. Young Master Weavers are fully engaged with their ancient and very local tradition, but are also fully mobile within modern American society.
Texas? Honoring the grandmothers at Toadlena's 100th anniversary celebration in June, 2009. Awards included classic Pendleton blankets
Mark Winter MCs the awards show; few Indian Art dealers have given back to the communities that support them as much as Mark has:
The brand-new old-fashioned youth of today; younger generations of Master Weavers honored along with their elders. We look forward to the new generation's innovations:
For info on events, artists, weavings, and directions to get there, visit them at:
The New York Times online posted an audio/slideshow: