1. Artists must be at least 18 years of age and must be a citizen of a federally recognized Native American Tribe. A copy of the artist’s tribal membership/citizenship card or CDIB must accompany entry.1. Artists must be at least 18 years of age and must be a citizen of a federally recognized Native American Tribe. A copy of the artist’s tribal membership/citizenship card or CDIB must accompany entry.
  2. Artists must provide a completed W9 - Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification form.
  3. Cherokee National Treasures’, EBCI Beloved Peoples’, and UKB Wisdom Keepers’ work is exempt from jury, as long as all procedures, guidelines and deadlines are followed.
  4. Artist must submit physical work upon jury acceptance into the Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale in order to be eligible for participation in the competition.
  5. Artists may submit up to three (3) art pieces into the competition, as long as at least one entry is in the miniature category. If none are miniature, two (2) entries may be submitted.
  6. All artwork submitted must be for sale.
  7. To be eligible for the competition, the following rules must be met:
    1. Artwork must be handmade by the registered artist in the last 18 months.
    2. Artwork must follow the guidelines for its category and size requirements.
    3. Artwork must be the sole property of the registered artist and artist must have the full unencumbered right, title and interests in and to the artwork.
    4. Artwork must not have been commissioned.
    5. Artwork that previously has been submitted at TOTAS or the Cherokee Homecoming Art Show will not be eligible for entry.
    6. Artwork must not include any part of an endangered species.
    7. Artwork must be complete and ready to display. (Wall hanging pieces must be fitted with picture wire; no saw tooth or in frame hangers)
    8. 2D entries may not have an image area exceeding 48” wide or 60” high. However, an artist may utilize two 2D entry space widths and enter one oversized piece or a diptych/triptych/quadtrych/etc. within that space. Maximum allowable space for a piece such as this is 96” wide and 60” high. The single piece will be counted as two of the allowable entries for the show. Mats, frames, and bases will not be measured unless they are a part of the overall artistic work, such as a painting extending onto the mat, or a frame that is part of the overall artwork. Image area is defined as being the exposed viewable area of the image.  3D diverse or sculpture must not exceed 48” w x 72” h x 48” d excluding base. One 3D entry can consist of multiple pieces, but cannot exceed size limits of display.
    9. Although judges’ decisions are final, Management retains the discretion to determine eligibility for entry into the competition. The competition directly reflects upon the Company, and competition winners must be willing and able to represent and reflect the morals and values of the Company and the TOTAS. In the event that Management determines, in good faith, that an artist is unable to represent and/or reflect those morals and values, or that the artist does not reflect the values and morals of the Company and/or the TOTAS, then Management retains the right to disqualify a participant from the competition. In the event that a participant is disqualified from entry into the competition, any entry fees paid by the participant will be refunded.
  8. If there are not enough participants in a category, artwork may be added to the judging of another category at the judges’ discretion.
  9. Management has the right to make final decisions regarding all rules and regulations set forth by the Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale.
  10. If entering a collaborative piece, each artist must submit entry, noting the corresponding collaborating artist in the description of the piece.
  11. It is each artist’s responsibility to comply with all federal and state laws regarding migratory birds and endangered species.
  12. All works submitted will be juried for inclusion in this show. Management and judges have the right to remove any artwork that may be seen as inappropriate for the general public.
  13. Photography containing content considered to be ceremonial in nature: If a photographic entry contains content that could be considered ceremonial in nature, please include a written description of the content, its origins, and justification of the piece in the description portion. If the jury has further questions, show officials will contact the artist and may request written permission from the originating ceremonial ground leader. Artwork that would be subject to this rule would include but is not limited to: Photography of Stomp Grounds, with or without people; photography of any rites, rituals, or medicine being performed in progress or outcome; with or without people. CNB strives to both support and protect tribal cultures, and will refrain from contributing to any exploitation of tribal people or ceremony.
  14. Officials reserve the right to prohibit an artist from participating in TOTAS based on the artist’s failure to comply with the rules, regulations and guidelines of the art show and competition.
  15. Artists may not gift anything to CNB staff or Judges.
  16. Entries that contain parts of a protected species, such as feathers, claws, bones, fur, etc., are automatically disqualified under Federal Law. Under Oklahoma Law Title 29, Statutes 5-411, 7-503; Wild Animal Feathers or Parts (including but not limited to Wild Turkey) are prohibited unless documentation is provided that they were obtained from a commercial retailer or heritage breeder. A receipt of purchase is required. Art including questionable wild animal parts/feathers without documentation will not be accepted. Animal feathers/parts obtained from CN Natural Resources, will not be accepted and by law cannot be sold.
  17. By entering into the competition, participants agree to hold harmless Cherokee Nation Businesses, L.L.C., and its directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, representatives, successors and assigns, from any liability, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, in connection with the competition, including, without limitation, the participant’s eligibility for and participation in the competition.   



  1. All award and sales checks will be made payable to the artist. Buyer’s name and address will be given unless the buyer requests to be anonymous.
  2. A thirty percent (30%) commission will be charged on all sales. CNB reserves the right to make sales of any art in its possession and collect commission on such sales until the work is returned or claimed by the artist. Please be sure that your price allows for this commission.
  3. No works in the show may be sold prior to the opening reception of the show.



  1. Although every care will be taken in handling and display of work, CNB will not be responsible for any loss or damage.
  2. All works will be identified by the artist, medium, price, category and title. Artwork accepted and hung in this show must remain hanging until the show closes. Artists may not pick-up entries early without the result of being barred from future shows



Proper identification must be attached firmly to the back of each entry with the following: Artist’s name, title, price and medium. Identification on the artwork must be done in addition to the entry form. Pieces will not be accepted where there is uncertainty about the price, title, medium, and identity of artist.



Category 1: Basketry

  1. Allowable
    1. Hand-worked of natural fibers and dyes, such as yucca, willow, three-lobed sumac, honeysuckle, cottonwood, pine needle, devil’s claw, splints, cane, ash, etc.
    2. Hand-worked materials, including horsehair, metal, yarn, horn, bone, etc.
  2. Allowable with disclosure
    1. Commercial dyes and commercially processed reed or rattan  
    2. Unconventional materials
    3. All attached buttons, conchos, beads, leather and tin tinkers must be properly identified and comply with the jewelry standards for allowable and non-allowable materials. 


Category 2: Diverse

This category includes anything that does not fit into the other categories. The category is open to art works such as toys, masks, musical instruments, clothing, accessories, cooking utensils, stick ball sticks, knives with carved bone handles, etc. 

  1. Allowable
    1. Commercially produced objects that are transformed into a work of art by the hand application of beadwork or quillwork are allowable with disclosure.
    2. The category includes non-jewelry Beadwork.
    3. Purchased glass beads, nickel and brass beads that are not made by the artist are allowable.
    4. Commercially manufactured hides and rawhide are allowable with disclosure.
    5. Weaving- Traditional tribal techniques must be employed in creation of the weaving; all types of dyes and yarns are acceptable. Rugs and blankets must be handmade. Includes hand woven clothing. All attached materials including buttons, collar tabs, beads, feathers, leather and tin-tinklers must be properly identified and may not comprise more than 20% of the piece.    
    6. Textiles – Handmade items such as ribbon shirts, tear dresses, historical replicas, contemporary clothing, ceremonial wear, shawls, etc. are acceptable (sewing machine work is acceptable).    
    7. Weaponry – blowguns, bow and arrows, war clubs, points, etc. are included here and must be made and sold for display only.
  2. Non-Allowable
    1. Nothing from a “kit” or anything produced from a plan or drafting NOT of your own design will be allowable.
    2. Sensitive Materials and endangered species.
    3. Plastic or synthetic parts, manufactured non-Indian or die-struck metal charms, buttons, etc., or commercially beaded items of any kind. 


Category 3: Graphics

  1. Allowable
    1. Original works in ink, pencil, charcoal, pastels, and scrimshaw.    
    2. Printmaking printed by artist Ex: lithography, relief, etching, mezzotint, aquatint, drypoint, screen printing, monotype, monoprint, mixed media prints)
    3. Prints must be signed and numbered, not to exceed editions of 50. 
  2. Non-Allowable
    1. Photomechanical reproductions, including note cards, posters and T-shirts.


Category 4: Jewelry Category

  1. Allowable
    1. Organic and stone materials.
    2. Shell and natural organic materials, such as bone, wood, natural stones (turquoise, coral, lapis, etc.), other natural untreated stones and gemstones.
    3. Natural pearls, finished stones and gemstones in cabochon, and faceted shapes set in metal settings.
    4. All non-plated metals are allowed and must be identified clearly.      5. Gold must be 14 karat or higher. 
  2. Allowable Findings
    1. For the purposes of the TOTAS, these are defined as “an ingredient part of the finished product that adapts the product for wearing or use.” This includes jump rings, earring backs, clasps, barrette clips, money clips, hook & eyes, leather for bolo straps or concho belts, etc. FOR SHELL AND BEADMAKERS ONLY: single bead/cone combinations to finish ends of necklaces or earrings.
  3. Allowable with Disclosure
    1. Stabilized turquoise must be disclosed to consumer.    
    2. Commercially available coral from temporary strands must be natural and undyed. The use of this coral can be used only in combination with handmade items.
    3. Commercially available glass beads can be used only in combination with handmade items.
    4. Multiple strand glass bead necklaces strung in tribal tradition of the maker are allowed.
    5. Cast jewelry mold must be handmade, hand carved and poured by the artist.Castings that are made in mass-produced environments are prohibited.
    6. Traditional gravity (hand) poured tufa, cuttle bone or sandstone must be limited to an edition of 12 pieces.
    7. Wax carving and lost-wax casting can be used only for one-of-a-kind items.
    8. Each limited edition must be numbered and signed with the artist’s hallmark.
    9. Commercial chain may be used (as a finding) with hand-crafted items but not sold individually.
  4. Not Allowable
    1. Imported or non-Indian handmade stone or shell beads and fetishes, excluding coral.
    2. Imported and/or color treated nuggets or tumbled chips of any material.
    3. Plastic or synthetic block reconstituted or compressed materials, such as coral, lapis, opal, etc.
    4. All color-treated (dyed, heated or irradiated) materials such as blue onyx, blue topaz, irradiated red coral, etc.
    5. Items assembled from non-Indian or manufactured components:          
      1. Machine-made or die-struck components or purchased cast blanks: rings, bracelets, bezel cups, leaves, bolo tips, etc.          
      2. Silver or other metal beads.
      3. Commercially drilled or pre-strung gemstone, natural pearls or glass beads, including restrung necklaces, “treasure” necklaces, made with commercial “found” objects.        
      4. Machine-made “liquid” silver and gold or plated materials, gold under 14 karat.
      5. Rubber mold casting(s) or ANY mass-produced items by any casting method.


Category 5: Miniatures

Original works in any medium, which would qualify for one of the above categories and does not have an image area exceeding 4 inches in length, width, or depth. Overall exterior dimensions, including frame or base, may not exceed 12” x 12”.


Category 6: Paintings

  1. Allowable
    1. Original works in oil, watercolor, acrylic, gouache, tempera, etc.    
    2. Paintings must be on a standard surface All paintings must be framed and ready to hang. Stretched canvas must have finished sides.
    3. Entries must be painted on a generally recognized surface, such as canvas, paper, hardboard or plywood.
  2. Non-Allowable
    1. Art on leaves, feathers, or saw blades.


Category 7: Photography/Digital Art

  1. Allowable
    1. Traditional photography, film or digital.
    2. Digitally rendered or manipulated paintings, photos or graphics.    
    3. Prints must be signed and numbered, not to exceed editions of 50
  2. Non-Allowable
    1. Any photomechanical reproduction, including note cards, posters and T-shirts.


Category 8: Pottery

  1. Allowable
    1. All handmade traditional and contemporary pottery forms.
    2. Kiln-fired, pit-fired, and double fired pottery.
    3. Pottery made with commercial clay, glazes and temper.
    4. All decorative stone, shell or metal elements, and shell, glass or metal beads must be properly identified.
    5. Wheel thrown pots.
  2. Non-Allowable
    1. Greenware, cast, or slip mold commercial pottery. 


Category 9: Sculpture

  1. Allowable
    1. All hand-wrought materials such as stone, wood, metal, ceramic, paper, cloth, etc.
    2. Cast bronze sculpture in numbered editions and must be signed and numbered. Certificate of authenticity must be provided.    
    3. Hand-blown and fabricated glass or fiberglass.
    4. A weight limit of 200 lbs. Any piece weighing over 100 lbs. must be moved into place by artist after acceptance into the show.    
    5. Fixatives can be used to stabilize pigment, but must be disclosed.
  2. Non-Allowable
    1. Cast resins.
    2. Cast miniature sculpture intended for use as jewelry.
    3. Production cast open editions.
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