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Welcome to day nine of Tribal Business News’ 12 days of Indigenous holiday gifts guide. In the spirit of supporting Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs and drawing attention to some truly gorgeous and inspired items, we are presenting 12 consecutive days of Native-made products perfect for holiday gift-giving, including giving to yourself.

Day 9: 

Karen Clarkson Choctaw Art Wind Horse Legend Print, $45, Etsy shop 

You can practically feel the whoosh of the legendary Wind Horse racing by in this adrenaline rush of authentic Choctaw art. 

If you’re determined to harness that horse for a loved one’s wall, you need to act fast,  because the prints are running out as rapidly as the Wind Horse.

The same goes for most of the other prints in Clarkson’s Etsy store, where the acclaimed artist who regularly wins top honors at Native markets and shows across the country offers reproductions of her original paintings for less than $300.

For maximum cultural and emotional impact, Clarkson makes sure her customers learn the legends she depicts. She includes the corresponding stories with each purchase and also includes them next to the images in her online gallery. 

According to Choctaw legend, the Wind Horse is recognized as the swiftest and most fearless and benevolent of all the Indian horses. If Indians were injured or needed a lift, they could depend on the Wind Horse to rescue them. In the story shown on the print, the Wind Horse puts itself in peril to save a lost little boy.

“I make the effort to include the text of this legend for a couple of reasons. I think it helps explain the symbolism in the painting, for one thing. It also illustrates the compassion and connection of the horse and the little boy, symbolic of father and son,” Clarkson said. “The whole legend is about caring and careful attention to the connection between love, sacrifice and understanding.”

Clarkson said she hopes everyone gets a chance to read the legend. 

“I have read it many times and I still feel my heart open wider every time,” she said. 

Clarkson is admired for her meaningful and beautiful work, as well as her commitment to promoting and supporting her creative colleagues. 

“Indigenous artists are sorely under-represented in the art community, especially women artists. It takes a lot of capital and time to sell art nowadays, and without representation and visibility we become lost in the crowd,” she said. “Many Indigenous artists do not have ways to promote themselves and rely on word of mouth. This year, bring your loved ones the gift of Native resilience and point of view.” 

 

Previous gift ideas

Day 1: Quirky, comical calendar by Ricardo Caté 

Day 2: Stationery and scarf set by B. Yellowtail and Debbie Desjarlais Design

Day 3: Baby Yoda power by M Reed Designs Boutique

Day 4: Alaska Native ornaments by Trickster Company

Day 5: Sleek Salish jacket by Ay Lelum

Day 6: Far-out wall art by Johnnie Diacon Art

Day 7: Striking T-shirt by Kevin Coochwytewa

Day 8: Ermine earrings by Wawezhi Designs

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About The Author
Tamara Ikenberg
Contributing Writer
Tamara Ikenberg is a senior reporter at Tribal Business News reporting on the arts and culture and tourism industries, and contributing to coverage of the Alaska Native business community. Based in Southern California, Ikenberg was a contributing writer for Native News Online and has reported for The Alaska Dispatch News, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, The Mobile Press Register, NYLON Magazine and The Baltimore Sun. She also previously worked as a grant and article writer at Juneau-based Sealaska Heritage Institute.
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