Brandon Vanderver is presenting his Native American Artifacts and Ethnography Show at the Owensboro Convention Center for the fifth time this weekend.
Ethnography is a branch of anthropology that studies individual cultures.
The show has grown into one of the biggest artifact shows in the country over the years.
Vandever was able to have his show last summer, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
âIt was better than I expected,â he said. “I had 303 tables.”
This year, vendors across the country will have set up 370 tables to display and sell artifacts, coins, knives, fossils, jewelry and other collectibles.
Vandever said about half of the artifacts are for sale.
He said the sellers came from as far away as Wisconsin, Arkansas, Florida and New York.
This year has attracted five or six dealers from Arkansas and some from Tennessee and Ohio coming to Owensboro for the first time.
Some people come just to see the artifacts – arrowheads, ax heads, and other items used by Native Americans – that date back thousands of years.
In the past, some of the artifacts were at least 12,000 years old.
Some come to buy, sell or trade, Vanderver said.
He said he didn’t want to say how valuable some of the artifacts are.
But Notes From The Frontier, a site for collectors, states: âThe most valuable arrowhead found to date in North America, the Rutz Clovis point, is nearly ten inches long and is carved from sea ââgreen obsidian. It was found in a Washington state wheat field in 1950. It was auctioned off in 2013 for $ 276,000. Its age is estimated to be around 13,000 years.
Vanderver has been a collector for about 25 years.
He said his father and grandfather were collectors and learned from them.
The number of collectors today is about the same as it was then, Vanderver said.
âThere are fewer young collectors today,â he said. âPeople seem to wait until they are older to take an interest in it.
Vanderver said he used to attend the Indian artifact exhibit that Kathy Pohl Finley of Cannelton, Indiana had at the Executive Inn Rivermont for 28 years.
But the Executive Inn closed in 2008.
When the convention center opened seven years ago, Vanderver decided it was time to bring an artifact show back to town.
âIt’s a great facility,â he said. “It’s good for shows like this.”
The hours are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday July 30 and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Admission is $ 15 on Friday and free on Saturday.