Wabanaki Artists take top spots at Santa Fe Indian Market

For the past 90 years, Santa Fe Indian Market has been bringing together the most talented Native American artists from around the US. As the largest Native arts fair in the world, the market covered the Santa Fe Plaza and surrounding streets this past weekend, and consisted of a myriad of events — galas, art openings, music and experiences, fashion shows, and the much anticipated juried art show. Several Wabanaki artists were in attendance this year, and a couple are coming back to the East Coast with some impressive ribbons.

Abbe Museum Fellow Emma Soctomah, Passamaquoddy, won first and second place in the Youth Division, which is her third consecutive year winning the top two spots.

Sara Sockbeson, Penobscot, won first place in Miniatures and second place in Contemporary. Her two winning baskets featured deer antler handles, which she sliced into cross-sections and then carved and polished each one, drilling a hole through the center. Sarah has said that all the antler handles she makes are unique for each basket.

Abbe Museum Educator George Neptune, Passamaquoddy, received an Honorable Mention in Traditional Basketry. George has admitted that he likes turning his baskets into sculptures, and that they’re all slight adaptations on traditional methods he has been taught.

The market is definitely a meeting of buyer and artist, but it proves year on year to be so much more than just that. It’s a place where artists gather to share their creations, their traditions, and their stories. It helps make possible the continuation of traditional life, whether on a pueblo outside Santa Fe or in a small town in Maine.

More official results of all the winners will be posted soon. The Best of Show winners list is currently available on the Santa Fe Indian Market website.

Congratulations to all the Wabanaki artists!