Who Are We?
Tribal Traders started out in 1998 in Albuquerque,
New Mexico as a small group of people working together to bring you high quality, authentic arts and
crafts directly from the people of the American Indian tribes.
Many dealers of fine southwestern art make annual trips to the
southwest to purchase their goods directly from the Native Americans at
low prices. Those products are then tagged with huge markups to sell to
the public. Often the dealers will deny the amount of the markup or claim
that they at least paid fair prices for the art work. Unfortunately, most
Native Americans cannot afford the luxury of marketing their goods outside
of their locale. Many people living on the reservations and in the pueblos
have no home phone lines. Some even lack indoor plumbing. With such
restrictions and limitations, these people have been forced to sell their
products to the dealers who would come to them, for prices way below fair
value. This is not to diminish the value of these products in the end.
However, it is meant to demonstrate how, most of the time, the artist does
not receive even a fair percentage of the final selling price. (This is
not just nonsense or a myth!)
With the aid of the internet and a location
(in Albuquerque) very close to several tribal lands,
we hoped to change this situation. Our aim has been to sell products to the public at prices below
the competition with most of the sales coming directly from the
Over the past twelve years
we've learned a lot about everything from weaving traditions to genealogy, and made a lot of great friends.
In 2003, our office was moved to the
northeast Ohio area. Now, we are continuing to work with our friends in the southwest and have an even larger
selection of beautiful artwork to offer you.
We try to provide you with information to assist you in verifying
the authenticity of all of your purchases. From time to time we will
dedicate web pages on the work of a specific artist or on a chapter to
introduce you to the Native American people and their cultures. At the same time, we have restrictions
regarding the personal information given out about an artist or his people. If an artist
wishes to keep his personal life private, we will respect his wishes.
With the help of our valued customers, like yourself,
we will continue to try to make this a very successful internet trading
post and to help (if by only a small amount) to build the economy
of the Native American people.
We welcome your feedback! If you are interested in work by a
particular artist, or specific colors or patterns in a rug, let us know.
We can special order it for you. If you have ideas to help us build up our
web site and business, let us know that too. We will try to provide you with the
best service in every way possible. We're looking forward to meeting and
talking with you soon!
~ Rita Rex Smith ~