Bahti Indian Arts Santa Fe

Bahti Indian Arts Santa Fe

Fine Indian Arts for 70 years. Founded by Tom Bahti, currently owned and operated by Mark Bahti and Emmi Whitehorse. Also in Tucson. Tom Bahti began his career in Indian arts in 1949.

After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a degree in anthropology, he and his bride, Peggy, opened Ghost Ranch Trading Post. Moving to Tucson that winter, he was partners with John Tanner at Desert House Crafts before opening Tom Bahti Indian Arts in 1952. In 1966 he authored the first general introduction to the work of artists of the region. Entitled Southwest Indian Arts and Crafts, it was the first of a trilogy of books - Southwest Indian Tribes and Southwest Indian Ceremonials, that together have sold over a million copies, and have been revised and expanded by his son Mark in subsequent editions. Mark took over upon Tom's death in 1972 and continues to run the store, with his wife, artist Emmi Whitehorse ( Together they opened a a second shop in Santa Fe). Some of the artist they work with are the great-great grandchildren of artisans who sold to Tom Bahti. A researcher/author like his father, Mark has written a number of books as well, including A Consumer's Guide to Southwest Indian Art, Pueblo Stories and Storytellers, Navajo Sandpainting Art (co-authored with Eugene Baatsoslanii Joe), Collecting Southwest Native American Jewelry, Southwest Indian Weaving, Southwest Indian Designs, Spirit in the Stone (a book on animal carvings and fetishes) and, most recently, Stone and Silver.He is also working on another book (on pottery artists) and two research projects. And, like his father before him, he continues to be involved with Indian-run organizations addressing education, health and employment issues. He is a long-time board member of the Tucson Indian Center, Chair of the Institute of American Indian Arts' Foundation in Santa Fe. He also serves on the board of the Amerind Foundation.

Operating as usual

Allan Houser's bronze "Swift Messenger" is on display in the Oval office. Gifted to the Smithsonian's National Museum by the widow of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye (1924-2012, D-Hawaii)

Amazing Grace

on this tumultuous day we wanted to offer some respite Provided to YouTube by A-Train EntertainmentAmazing Grace · R. Carlos NakaiInner Voices℗ Canyon RecordsReleased on: 1999-01-01Artist: R. Carlos NakaiAuto-gen...

You may remember a while back that we posted a photo of work by a new promising artist, named Abe Peina. Well, he is still making jewelry and fulfilling that promise and we are delighted to show you a new bracelet he just brought in, set with a tourmaline crystal in quartz. (see our website for more details) It's two, no actually 3 bracelets in one.

[12/16/20]   The Bahti crew has been busily updating the website with new items every day. Go check out what's new!

"Butterfly Clouds" from "Ongtupqa" featuring Clark Tenakhongva

as we get ready to enter a new year we thought we'd share this song by Clark Tenakhongva for a moment of serenity and reflection

( you can purchase his music at ) Clark Tenakhongva was unable to join the KAWC 50th Anniversary Music Festival due to his commitments as the Vice-Chairman of the Hopi Tribe. As you may know,...

Randy Brokeshoulder just brought this Woodpecker katsina to us. He will be added to our website shortly.... visit us at to see details.

It’s been a challenging year, but we continue to work with the many Hopi katsina carvers (and others) whose work we are honored to carry and appreciate the support that comes from our many customer-friends who in turn make it possible to support the artists.

**SOLD** Thank you!

Joy Harjo will serve a rare third term as U.S. poet laureate

only the second poet to be so honored in over 3/4 of a century Harjo is the second poet laureate to serve this many terms in a row since the current duties of the position were established 77 years ago.

Although we can’t have you visit us in person in Santa Fe, we’ve been adding new inventory to our website so that you can shop online. As always, if you are looking for something and not finding it on our website you are welcome to send us an email with your request or you may call us.

Due to the explosion of Covid cases and resultant spike in hospitalizations, New Mexico is closing all non-essential businesses for two weeks.

HOWEVER, you can continue to reach us through FaceBook, text messaging and e-mail. AND, if you would like, you can make an appointment for a FaceTime tour of the shop or any specific part of it.

Our Tucson shop is unaffected and remains open Tuesday-Saturday.

Treated Turquoise - YouTube

the most recent in our series on turquoise Part 2 on turquoise

[11/10/20]   Beginning Monday, November 16 and continuing for each Monday thereafter, on our website we will post favorite items selected by our Tucson manager, Tim Price, our Santa Fe manager, Holly Coonsis and me. Our selections will include a brief explanation of why each of us made our choice.

Bahti Indian Arts in Santa Fe will be closed today....

BUT our Tucson shop is open and manager Tim Price is there.

Just a few photos of new additions to our inventory here in Santa Fe. Our website has been update a few times over the last few days with new items in both Tucson and Santa Fe. Head over to to check them out.

Brent Brokeshoulder is back carving! The Solaawitsi is his work - his father, Nick, brought it in along with a pretty nifty Wakas katsina of his own.(The Momo/Bee is already sold.)


SWAIA director Kim Peone has done the best series of interviews with artists...

CONVERSATIONS Coffee with Kim SWAIA Director Kim Peone speaks with various featured artists Ep: 023 | Davida Lister In this episode Kim speaks with Davida Lister about her jewelry, ideas on marketing, and generational perspective. Ep: 022 | Ay Lelum In this episode, Sophia Good of Ay Lelum talks abo...

Linus' Great Pumpkin goes to Hopi...

Indigenous Peoples Day Poetry Celebration Join award-winning authors Sherwin Bitsui, Joan Naviyuk Kane, and Tommy Pico for a poetry reading of new poems.

These were just brought in today (September 7th) by Jonathan Nez whom we’ve not seen or heard from since the start of the Covid shutdown.
Happy to report he is doing well and continuing to make great jewelry, as evidenced by these two meticulously executed bracelets.
Each IS 1/2 inch wide and measures 5.25 inches with a 1 inch opening. If you’d like a larger one, just let us know. $375 each. The one at bottom is in Tucson and the one at top is in Santa Fe.

[09/07/20]   In retail you have the chance to meet all sorts of people from all walks of life....a man who survived a Nazi death camp and later joined the army, a pioneering woman choreographer, an astrophysicist, poets, journalists, scientists. .. I learned that there is no such thing as "ordinary folks" as everyone knows something I can learn from.
Yesterday I met one of my best teachers yet:

A couple walked by the front door of the shop earlier this afternoon, with their 20 month (?) old daughter behind them, dressed in her Sunday finest, face ringed with dark curly hair. Her face bright with the happiness every child should have.
A moment later she poked her head in the doorway and announced something (t was all random vowels and consonants) so I responded "Really?" She nodded and I said "WOW".
A moment later there she was again, proudly holding up a single, but very brightly colored and patterned, sock to show me.
I was, of course, suitably impressed and said "a SOCK!" She nodded brightly and I added "beautiful". At which she happily giggled and ran back to her dad who I heard as he asked "did you show him your sock?"
(No need for boring stuffed animals when you have a colorful sock!)
Simple joy.
She totally made my day.💖

MARY TOM — Bahti Indian Arts

Mary Tom lives far from any internet signal and often cannot get even a phone signal where she lives, so she was unable to participate in the ground-breaking (and successful!) Virtual Indian Market provided by SWAIA in Santa Fe.

Mary is a dear and long-time friend in addition to being a very fine silversmith. And she is someone who has participated in Santa Fe Indian Market for many years so we have created this page as her “Indian Market Booth”. Though we will process the sales and handle the shipping, all proceeds from the sale of jewelry on this page will go directly to her. This page will remain up through the end of September.

So: Shop and Enjoy !


two more days of great films!

we have 8 of Pat Pruitts niobium dragonfly earrings left. $150 each (we will take care of shipping costs) and each has a wingspan of 1.75 inches and is 2.25 inches long.
A number is pencilled in the lower right corner of each earring card. You can call, email or message us

Wonderful niobium dragonfly earrings by Pat Pruitt - available starting Monday - email us at [email protected] if you want to be in line to see photos of all 20 of them before then...each one is different!
Sorry: has to be first come first serve.

MARY TOM — Bahti Indian Arts

We have just added a new page in the jewelry section of our website which features the work of Navajo silversmith Mary Tom.
(She was unable to participate in the Virtual Indian Market as she barely has cell phone service, much less internet where she lives, so 100% of proceeds from these items go to her.)

We have also added a new video library page with videos with interviews with artists as well as Mark's informative video series.

#2 in the series

First of two videos on turquoise

One People, One Prayer organized by Delano Kinale The One People, One Prayer fundraiser is on behalf of the Hopi/Tewa people that have been impact… Delano Kinale needs your support for One People, One Prayer


Cimmarron Grover's Paakwa (Frog) katsina. Not just for shelf-sitting...


The countdown begins!

#santafeindianmarket 435 Artists and 31 Days of Programming #santafeindianmarket #virtualindianmarket #VIM2020 #goingvirtual #staytuned #reimagine

The Knocks & Fred Falke - Geronimo (Official Video)

posting in tribute to the memory of a remarkable young man who left too early: Nakotah LaRance

(if you do not know his story, Google his name)

Director: Daniel Pappas Director of Photography: Deering Regan Editor: Jonathan Sutak Dancer: Nakotah Larance Pre-order '55' and get Kiss The Sky feat. Wycle...

A single engine plane bola tie by the very talented Lee Charley. I could not resist buying it for the shop. Excellent work as well as fine design

#1 in a series

The first in what I hope will be a series explaining the how and the why and the what of the way we decide which items we buy to support the artists and present to you.

A really neat ring: natural Bisbee turquoise set by Navajo jeweler Craig Agoodie in one of his signature chiselled bezels.

Today is Father's Day and the 23rd would be my father's 94th birthday so I wanted to post something about him.

Dad grew up on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where his interest in Indians began to express itself even before he entered school. A WWII Navy vet he graduated from UNM, married and opened Ghost Ranch Trading in 1949. By 1950 he was in Tucson and in the Indian arts business there. A supporter of the contemporary in Indian art he spoke, wrote and lectured on the topic and judged in Indian art shows and worked with people like Lloyd Kiva New, notably on the Southwest Indian Arts Project at the U of A which led to the founding of the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA). He was the first to represent the work of Charles and Otellie Loloma. He mounted an exhibit of the history of Navajo textiles at the Department of the Interior at the invitation of his friends Stewart and Lee Udall. He wrote the first popular book on SW Indian arts and crafts (1966).
But his interests went far deeper than the arts and crafts: he attended the hearings at Hopi when a tribal council form of government was about to be imposed upon the autonomous villages. He was a part of the Association for Papago Affairs which sought to restore the mineral rights on their own land to the tribe. He was a part of the founding community that formed the Tucson Indian Center. ( ) He was also an eloquent and outspoken supporter (and organizer) of civil rights, the struggle against the war in Vietnam and for Indian rights, including efforts to support tribes working to develop better educational, economic and health opportunities for their members. Struggles that continue today.
AND he was an artist. A watercolorist, printmaker (woodblock, plaster block and linoleum block) and worked in metal, ink and tile. He won some significant prizes for his work though I learned of those only second hand. Through the American Watercolor Society a work of his was part of an exhibit in Paris.

The letter excerpts are from a letter he wrote to his parents that give an idea of the variety of interests and activities he was involved in - and his tremendous energy!

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Videos (show all)

#2 in the series
#1 in a series
on the Plaza
Zac Ben's sandpainting art



119 E Palace Ave
Santa Fe, NM

General information

Staff: Holly Coonsis-Manager

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:30 - 16:00
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