How did this site happen? One day My wife and I had two experiences that has changed our lives. We were on the Navajo reservation visiting with good friends. The first a man and his wife we visited with at least once a week. They live on the small isolated Alamo reservation in West central New Mexico 85 miles from Albuquerque 35 miles of this road is a dirt road as rough as a dirt road could be. and 65 miles from Socorro. In our visit we had asked repeatedly how they were doing and if they needed anything the answer was all ways “no they were fine.” After leaving we found out from an other visit : that their water was going to be turned of that day because of late payment and that they had pawned their jewelry so that they could have food. I know they live on less than $300 per month.
Now the facts about them is that they are very talented artisans and make beautiful things but have no where to sell them. In the past the Indian would sell their work for 1/2 of what it is really worth and the buyer makes the real profit leaving the artisans with barely enough to by supplies to do it all over again.
The next person we visited was a lady we call grandma she all so lives in Alamo we visit with her about two to three times a months she was glad to see us and was on her porch spinning wool, she had shorn off her sheep, in to yarn with a spinning stick we asked if she was going to knit with it or what. She waved here hands at us as if to say stay here it will be eaiser to show you after going into the house she returned with an exceptional rug that was beautiful. I asked how much she sells them for I was shocked. I know she lives on less then $250 per month. She is able to make 1 rug a month. But has no where to sell them unless she gets desperate and goes to Albuquerque or Soccorro and walks around the plaza and panhandles her rugs or goes to a trading post at an awful rate, she will only get a fraction of the value. This is not right.
Why did the first couple not tell us that their water was going to be turned off? Pride and dignity. No one wants to put their hand out and beg. In some measure they feel that they are looked down on. No one likes to feel like that. We know this needed to change. With the talent these people have all they need is a market place, so we have created this web site. For their fantastic rugs, bead work, silver work, pottery the list goes on and on.
That is what this web page is all about when people buy from this web page 100% of what the artisans sell goes to the artisans. We manage this web site write the web page and the artisans profiles, and offer to the buyer credit card purchases and the artisans do not pay merchant services fees this is all payed by sponsors. We are able to do this with out raising the price of their work or taking money from them. If you truly want to help, donate to IsolatedIndianArtisans.org and place on your web page or facebook page the banner I am a proud sponsor of IsolatedIndianArtisans.org