Saturday, March 05, 2005

Before you buy that Dream Catcher...

..check to make sure it wasn't made in Vietnam. Because the enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act just experienced a setback. (Read case here.)

"The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States. It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States."*

And lest you think we are talking about small potatoes here, a doll at a powwow or a fetish at the flea market, the Indian Arts market is a $1 billion dollar industry. Yes, $1 billion dollars. That's a lot of turquoise jewelry.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Black Knight said...

You're acting surprised. The U$ doesn't care about the Natives. Hasn't since...well, ever.

9:47 PM  
Blogger themarigoldtrail said...

True, true. But there have been a series of laws and court cases recently that have shown some good faith on the part of the US gov't. I'll post about some of those, too.

And thanks for stopping by, Mike!

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Ladysekhmet said...

That Sucks. First they deregulate the Herbal supplements industry, now this. Problem is, (and as an artist I know this) people expect you to just give your stuff away, no matter who you are. People are very poorly educated about arts in general. They don't know that a "limited edition" print of 5000 is not really that limited, and shell out $100s for it because it says "limited edition" and comes in a pretty frame, rather than buy a one-of-a-kind painting by an artist who spent weeks to months painting it, and wants to be reimbursed for their time and money. Likewise, they'll balk at paying $90 for a little tiny pot or fetish, and get something mass-produced and thus cheaper. Perhaps a solution would be to better educate the public about the term "intrinsic value".

9:46 PM  
Blogger themarigoldtrail said...

I think you are right about our general lack of art education AND respect for artists and the work they do in general. We seem to exist in a throwaway culture where quality and respect for the blood, sweat, and tears that go into creating something unique, valuable and original can't compare to the smug pleasure of getting a good bargain.

But, ironically, the real losers in this court decision are the consumers of which we speak. They are losing a measure of truth-in-advertising protection, a fact that adds new import to the warning: buyer beware

11:05 AM  

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