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Friday, February 25, 2011

One Feather American Indian Art

Owners David and Anna Baxter offer masks, pottery, clothing, jewelry and other items handmade from more than 40 Native American tribes across the United States and Canada.
159 Miracle Strip Parkway SE 
Fort Walton Bch, FL 32548-5817
(850) 243-9807

10am- 7pm+

A feather in their cap: American Indian Art more than a trinket store

Aug. 08--FORT WALTON BEACH -- Many local stores offer items that are difficult to find or are limited editions.

One Feather American Indian Art in downtown Fort Walton Beach is one of them, offering items such as hand-etched pottery pieces, wood-carved kachina dolls and knives whose handles are carved from bone.

Store owners David and Anna Baxter opened One Feather as not just a store, but a place where tourists and locals can see and learn about Native American culture.

"We're not some little trinket store. We're part art gallery, part store," David Baxter said.

The Baxters, who are of Cherokee ancestry, opened One Feather about 15 years ago after Anna visited the area to help a friend open a stained glass store.

"We loved the area, so we stayed." David Baxter said. "With me being in (a) band, we could live anywhere, and we chose to come here."

When One Feather opened, Baxter bought items from American Indian artists from three tribes. As the store expanded and grew in reputation, so did the selection.

He now buys masks, pottery, clothing, jewelry and other items from more than 40 tribes across the United States and Canada.

"There's not a lot of Native American stores around," Baxter said. "We're just glad to be here and doing what we're doing."

David toured the country with various bands for about 30 years. With David on the road, Anna wanted a business she could run and opened One Feather.

Although he still writes songs with his wife and performs on the side, David Baxter has stopped touring full-time so he can stay at the store.

"I don't want to go anywhere. I want to stay here and enjoy our little town," he said.

To keep the art gallery feel, Baxter either plays his flute or music on a CD from a Native American musicians such as Ed WindDancer.

One Feather originally was in a storefront on U.S. Highway 98 next to the old Joe & Eddie's restaurant building. Joe & Eddie's was severely damaged during hurricanes Ivan and Dennis and eventually was torn down.

That turned out to be a good thing. One Feather moved and reopened next door to the Indian Temple Mound Museum.

Baxter's desire to spread Native American culture in Northwest Florida led him to partner Doug Reed, who owns Merlin's Custom Jewelry, to found Musical Echoes more than 10 years ago. The event has grown from 2,000 visitors to 15,000 to 20,000 people in recent years, becoming the largest Native American flute festival in the country.

Baxter already has started planning next year's festival, scheduled for April 22-24.

One Feather opens at 10 a.m. every day and stays open until 7 to 9 p.m. depending on the day. However, the store will be closed today and Monday.

To see more of the Northwest Florida Daily News or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.nwfdailynews.com . Copyright (c) 2010, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com , e-mail services@mctinfoservices.com , or call 866-280-5210 (outside the United States, call +1 312-222-4544).

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