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There is a very special place in lower Manhattan that's full of one of a kind treasures, from all around the world, known as ETHNIX. Established circa 1990, Ethnix evolved from the philosophy that awareness of a specific ethnic group, through their material and spiritual culture leads to greater appreciation and public concern for their well being. The role of the ethnographic artifact created in the context of the ritual and viewed as art, reinforces the ethnic identity of a people and helps them to sustain the traditional culture which normally incorporates renewable and sustainable resources. Hand crafted traditional objects provide supplementary income for the community and attracts the attention of consumers to the values and beliefs that they represent.

Historically, Ethnix began as a personal collection of artifacts and mementos acquired in the field while doing documentary field recordings in Haiti, South and Central America. In order to sustain and fund this work
IPTAF (The Institute for the Preservation of Tribal Arts and Folklore) was created. A key element in the funding of the field research was the "mola", a reverse appliqué panel produced by the Kuna Indian women of Panama. The "mola"was a prime example and proof of the thesis or underlying philosophy of how the artifact supported and reinforced the identity of a native people and vice versa. Successful marketing of the mola, literally, on streets and sidewalks of New York City eventually led to the acquisition of the Ethnix gallery on Broadway as well as the establishment of commercial and social ties with African art producers. We welcome all of those to our gallery who appreciate and respect native art.


David Stiffler, owner and founder of Ethnix Tribal Arts Gallery, is an artist and an anthropologist . He has spent many years among many indigenous peoples documenting their cultures, their traditional music. Under the guidance of David and his wife Elpie, the gallery strives to maintain a focus on the relationship between native religion and art.


All items in the inventory are individually hand-picked and chosen for specific ethnographic and cubist merits.

Here's our basic guidelines for acquisitions;

1. Connection or initial impact ~ does the item speak to me?
2. Artist merit ~ cubist value or visual impact.
3. Workmanship ~ is the object well crafted?
4. Originality.
5. Rarity ~ example of a scarce style.
5. Provenance documention of its ritual context.
6. Historical value ~ patina, danced.

Objects that possess at least two of these essential qualities generally have found a home within the Ethnix Gallery. Many of the pieces although old, crude, sometimes broken and soiled from years of ritual and usage retain the residual energies of their previous owners and tell a story. We are interested and we listen.
©2003 David Stiffler, ETHNIX TRIBAL & AFRICAN ARTS 212-614-6610