Hubbell Trading Post was just one of hundreds of trading posts that sprung up around the southwest to provide opportunities for commerce among the area tribes in the late 19th century. J. L. Hubbell was widely regarded as among the most trusted and respected traders of the region. He admired and encouraged Native American arts and crafts, recognizing their increasingly widespread popularity and value.

Hubbell Trading Post continues to be a community-focused destination and cultural crossroads, where traders, Native Americans, and other patrons (artists, community members, and visitors) meet to share ideas, socialize, and continue traditional trading practices. As they have for 140 years, tribal members bring handcrafted rugs, jewelry, pottery and baskets to the post Trader.

Today, the Trader of Hubbell Trading Post is Edison Eskeets, and the first Hubbell Trader who is Navajo. Eskeets has a strong background in arts with a BFA from Bradley University, and has experience in education and nonprofit management. He is perhaps most loved for his rug talks, which are filled with a depth of knowledge not found in books on the subject. Eskeets makes amazing connections in the artistry of rugs that cross cultures and history. According to Eskeets, “If your blood is red, you’re my kind,” and he willingly divulges the rich cultural traditions found in Navajo rugs.

He believes the continuation of Hubbell Trading Post as an active trading post is paramount. His goal is to rekindle the people of the past and how they interacted. This is the key to preserving the trading tradition, and he says, “I’m very lucky to be a part of that.”

Eskeets will offer three talks during the 10th Amazing Earthfest 2016: on May 10, Kanab Library, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and on May 11, Maynard Dixon Gallery, during a special reception beginning at 3 p.m.