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Native American market at Cahokia Mounds Nov. 25-27

Looking for unique holiday gifts? Need a dose of artistic inspiration? The annual Native American Holiday Market at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site offers both this Thanksgiving weekend – Friday, Nov. 25, through Sunday, Nov. 27.

More than 30 Native American artists, artisans and vendors will be selling an incredible array of goods at the Collinsville historic site’s interpretive center. Their offerings include everything from paintings and metal work to baskets, beadwork and pottery. All items are Indian-made and most reflect an aspect of native culture.

The artisans – several of whom are brand-new to the market – come from a variety of tribal affiliations. They include Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, Potawatomi, Cherokee, Arapaho, Meskwaki, Ho-Chunk, Seminole, Oglala Sioux, Chickasaw and Athabaskan.

Crafts and artwork will be available in all price ranges.

The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There is no admission fee, but donations of $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students and $15 for families are suggested.

There also will be some demonstrations by artists.  Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., Will Harjo of the Muscogee Creek Nation will explain the different types of wood used for making flutes and demonstrate the tones and sounds they produce. Saturday at 3, Keith Yazzie Jay, a Navajo ceramic artist, will demonstrate pottery painting methods.

Cahokia Mounds – which has been declared a World Heritage Site – boasts the largest Native American earthworks north of Mexico. They were part of a huge city created by the Mississippian culture that flourished 1,000 years ago in the Midwest and South.

The state historic site, operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is just eight miles from downtown St. Louis, in Collinsville, Illinois, off Interstates 55-70 (Exit 6) and Interstate 255 (Exit 24) on Collinsville Road. The site is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but open Wednesday through Sunday.

For more information call 618-346-5160 or go to www.cahokiamounds.org.

The site is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. IHPA protects the state’s historic resources, which contribute to education, culture and the economy. IHPA sites include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings erected by settlers, and homes connected to famous Illinoisans.