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Written by on Thursday, January 26, 2012
Spirit Vessels by Nadiya Littlewarrior

Native American Treasures from OutWest

I had the pleasure of meeting Nadiya Littlewarrior at the American Indian Arts Marketplace at the Autry National Center a couple of years ago. I thought that her gourds (which she calls Spirit Vessels) were beautiful and I have wanted to feature them on Maverick Style for quite some time. Recently, Bobbi Bell of OutWest gave me the good news that several of Nadiya's Spirit Vessels are featured on their website. Finally, I can share Nadiya's work with you!

Nadiya Littlewarrior began crafting art gourds thirteen years ago when a friend of hers invited her to attend an art gourd workshop. "For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable in my own skin. As a mixed-blood Native I was never as dark as the others and often was questioned as to just how much 'Indian' I am. Finally, all of that tension melted away, and I knew exactly what I should be doing with my art from that point forward."

Nadiya's husband John Davis inspired the name of her company, reminding her that the best way to come up with a name would be to dream on it, as her ancestors did. About her art gourds, Nadiya Littlewarrior says, "They are Spirit Vessels to me, because the Creator makes the Gourd People and puts their spirit in them and I get to dress them with regalia." Thus, Spirit Vessels was dreamed into being in 1993. With a history in art and a distinctively Potowatomi Cherokee heritage, Nadiya Littlewarrior is one of today's most dedicated artists of contemporary Native American art. Her collectors span the world, and she has exhibited her art at the Southwest Museum, the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center and Museum, Mallard Sheets Gallery, and the William S. Hart Park and Museum.

Featured below left is "Butterfly Races," my favorite of Nadiya Littlewarrior's Spirit Vessels. This one of a kind piece has hand strung beading with actual dream catchers made into the gourd. I have had the opportunity to see it in person and It is absolutely stunning! Woodland Creatures (right) is another exceptional art gourd. Nadiya has gathered all her favorite woodland creatures, including a bear, cougar, deer, rabbit, and racoon and lovingly captured them on this large one of a kind gourd.

If you would like to see more of Nadiya Littlewarrior's beautiful Spirit Vessels, visit the OutWest website. Nadiya will also be a featured guest on the live radio show "Around the Barn," hosted by Bobbi Bell of OutWest on KHTS 1220 AM radio on Saturday, January 28th from 9 - 10 AM Pacific Time. Just go to and click Listen Live.

Butterfly Races Spirit Vessel by Nadiya Littlewarrior available at OutWest Woodland Creatures Spirit Vessel by Nadiya Littlewarrior available at OutWest

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