Whitecrow Trading Post

(formerly known as Silverheels Trading Post)

Trading-Post Traditions

Trudy Lynn (Bootsy) Silverheels, née Linda Yazzie

The term trading post, like the word casbah, evokes for me a wildly romantic notion of a market place for the exotic.  In times past, trading posts were the lifelines of reservation Indians.  There one could trade pelts and craft goods (including pottery, basketry, textiles, beadwork, traditional weapons, and jewelry) for needed supplies, such as sugar, flour, coffee, and hard candy.  But trading posts served (and still do, by the way) a greater purpose than merely the bartering of goods.  Trading posts have always provided a comfortable venue for cultural exchange between peoples.  Nor do I mean only between Whites and Indians.  Paiutes meet Navajos at the trading post; Hopis mingle with Apaches; and Havasupais encounter Zunis.  Once upon a time, the trading post was where one came to catch up on the latest news.  Today, it is still where one can expect to run into old friends and hear the juiciest gossip.  Handbills and notices are posted on the walls.  Recipes are exchanged.  And on the front porch (or in wintertime near wood stove) a groups of old men will inevitably be playing dominoes.
          I mean for this online trading post to be as much like a traditional Indian trading post as possible.  Here you can expect to find scores of historic images of frontier life, articles  to read (both fiction and non-fiction), Native American and other craft goods on display and for sale.  There may also be found here original artworks and decorator items (some featuring Indian designs or motifs).  And there are numerous links to other related sites.

Recipe for Indian Fry Bread
3 C. unbleached flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt

1.5 C. warm milk
About 1 T. olive oil (to coat dough and your hands)
You will also need enough peanut oil to deep fry in.

1. Combine all ingredients, except oil, to form dough.
2. Coat dough with the olive oil.
3. Cover and let rest for half an hour.
4. Now coat your hands with olive oil and form 3" to 4" round cakes 1/8" thick (like smallish gorditas if you are familiar with those) and deep fry.

This is very messy work, but the results are divine.This recipe should yield about 12 pieces, which are delicious hot from the oil with nothing added.  Or treat them like tortillas and make chalupas or Indian tacos by piling any combination of meat, beans, cheese, and salad on top of them. 
Watercolor Sketch of Trading Post by Charles Russell

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