The Indian Arts
and Crafts Association was established in 1974 in response to the
growing problem of misrepresentation of American Indian arts and crafts
in the marketplace. The original founders were American Indian artists
and reputable businesses located primarily in the Southwest. Today, IACA
is an international organization representing every link in American
Indian arts – Native artists from the U.S. and Canada, along with
consumers, retailers, wholesalers, museums, government agencies,
suppliers and supporting members.
In the early
1970s, the American Indian arts and crafts industry was booming and, as
so often happens with successful businesses, unscrupulous dealers,
knockoffs and imported goods appeared in the market to the detriment of
the unsuspecting consumer and respectable artists, wholesalers and
governing the industry and the labeling of authentic arts and crafts
produced by Native Americans was weak or non-existent. Where it did
exist within several of the States, it was rarely enforced.
if these conditions were to continue, the buying public would soon lose
confidence in the intrinsic value of American Indian products, these
individuals did what people in similar circumstances have done since
ancient times. Rather than face the issue privately, they banded
together and founded the "Indian Arts and Crafts Association" and
incorporated it under the laws of the State of New Mexico.
The IACA Mission
The original IACA Mission
"to enhance and
maintain the image of marketing of handmade American Indian arts and
crafts," was later refined and today that statement is "to
promote, preserve and protect authentic American Indian arts and crafts."
established itself as a highly respected international trade
association, and for more than thirty-five years has hosted the largest
trade show of authentic handmade art made by American Indian artists
from the United States and Canada.
To complement the
trade show, IACA has added the
Business of Art
artists and retailers before each show. Additionally the IACA
Education Fund provides a number of educational programs and
publications to promote understanding of the arts.
IACA's work to support the effective protection,
ethical promotion of authentic Native American art, and preservation of
material culture has helped to instill confidence in the consumer
Learn More. Read the IACA Overview and Portfolio.