Edna Countryman

The Indian Store offers quality merchandise and more

The Indian Store sells quality hand-crafted Native American products and custom-made Indian regalia. Owned and operated by Edna Countryman, the Union County store offers high quality merchandise at reasonable prices.

Countryman says, "After seeing how Native American craftsmen were treated at most outlets, I made a commitment to open a store where things would be done differently. When I sell something at the Indian Store, the artist receives two-thirds of the selling price instead of one-tenth like some places."

The Indian Store sells paintings by Hazel Senter, prints by Lynn Lossiah, prints by Ken Jenkins, ceramic tiles by Betty Nolin, prints by Bill Rabbit, prints by Dale Adkins, jewelry by Chief Harry Dakota, knives by Hugh Davis, arrowheads by flint knapper Kerry Marsh, doe-skin leather masks by New Horizons, and many other beautiful pottery, jewelry, stationary, and artistic pieces.

The store also offers custom alterations of all kinds. Countryman is a professional seamstress and makes colorful Indian regalia with ribbons and other adornments. She is an interesting person that draws customers into lively conversations. Her passion for Native American arts and crafts is catching.

Edna says, "My customers become my friends. Before long they are asking about the Indian ways. Especially the children, they always want to know something about Indian life."

Ribbon Cutting at the Indian Store

Ribbon cutting at the Indian Store

The Blairsville Union County Chamber of Commerce and members of the Blairsville community recently celebrated the opening of the Indian Store. Owner Edna Countryman was happy to share information about her new business. The unique shop carries a line of quality Native American artwork, clothing, jewelry, incense, pottery, masks, arrowheads, and many other items.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was enlivened by the presence of Chief Harry Dakota of Ojibwa and Oneida tribal descent. Chief Dakota is a champion northern traditional dancer and story teller and makes old style and contemporary jewelry. Chief Harry brought along his bustle which took seven years to complete.

Dancing and Drums

Indian Store in Blairsville, Georgia dances to many drums

The Indian Store and D and B Generators recently hosted a day long event in celebration of the new store's success. Chief Big Bear Keith Smith, Dove Smith, and Edna Countryman welcomed drum groups, artists, and guests to the public gathering.

People enjoyed Native American culture including free food and entertainment. Chief Harry Dakota blessed everyone at the event before performing ceremonial dances. He said, "The drum is sacred. It represents God and the womb. The drum-sticks represent man."

Chief Harry Dakota is earnest about what he does. Dakota is a professional storyteller who travels the country providing the public an opportunity to see, hear and talk to a real, live tribal person. He also creates beautiful old style and contemporary jewelry.

A highlight of the occasion was the music. All Nations Drum, a ceremonial drum group led by Yona Taylor of Cherokee, NC, preformed throughout the day. The beat of the drums set the mood for prayer, celebration of life, and dancing. Even Grandmother Kay Tyson joined in the "snake" or "bear" dance that wound its way around and through the crowd.

At one point during the festivities, Chief Big Bear apologized for not having an American flag on hand. He said, "We usually honor our veterans and our flag at all gatherings and regret that we don't have a flag here today."

Commander of VFW Post 7394, Bob Woodstock saved the moment when he retrieved a large American flag from his car. American vets held Old Glory high in the air as Chief Big Bear went on to recognize the veterans and to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Musician Dana Ross of Morganton , Georgia , participated in the festivities by playing his wooden flute. The soulful melody of Amazing Grace floated gently through the air after the strong beat of the drums vibrated deep into the ground. The contrast was invigorating.

Gary Four Star's drum group from the Many Horses Foundation also attended the event. Gary Four Star said, "By loving that which the Creator created, we honor the Creator of life."

The Many Horses Foundation is trying to raise awareness about the condition of the earth's water and have planned to walk all the way to the gulf during September 2007. "We will walk for the Water. We will walk for Life. We will walk for our Mother Earth. We will walk for the future of our Children. We will walk the Chattahoochee River ."

Authentic Native American food was served at the gathering. Delicious pumpkin soup, buffalo and venison stew, and corn muffins were enjoyed by everyone. The Indian Store celebration was a fun event for everyone that attended. Thanks to Keith, Dove, and Edna for an interesting Saturday. Thanks to Harry Dakota, the drum groups, the artists, and everyone else that helped make the day a success.