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BEST BET

March 25, 1993|ANNE KLARNER

At the first American Indian and Western Relic Show and Sale that he produced 25 years ago, Howard Chatt sold a Navajo rug with a few holes in it for $100 and thought he had done rather well. If he tried to buy that same rug at this weekend's event at the Pasadena Center, it would cost $100,000.

"We knew how rare it was, but could never relate to how truly rare it was," Chatt said.

Back in those days, Chatt said, collectors of American Indian art were a widely scattered bunch, which made it hard to compare notes. People did not always know what they had and how much it was worth.

That first show--about 100 collectors, dealers and artists gathered in a defunct car dealership in San Gabriel--"was the first time that they had gotten together in one place," Chatt said.

Since then, Chatt has produced about 50 shows.

"We only have two a year," he said. "It started out as a hobby and basically it still is."

Chatt and his partner, Shirley Tappe, own

several businesses, including a company that makes shipping containers, and a travel agency.

This weekend's show in Pasadena will feature 125 vendors of artwork--including beadwork, blankets, pottery, jewelry, paintings (sand and oil), masks, baskets, leather and textiles from a variety of tribes.

"Most of the representation comes from the tribes that do most of the handicrafts, and that's in the Southwest, mostly Navajo, Hopi and Zuni," Chatt said.

There also will be art from some of the coastal tribes in western Canada and Alaska.

The American Eagle Dancers will perform at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Artist Judy Trusty exhibits her painting "Little Warriors."

Show hours at the center, 300 E. Green St., are 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $2 for children ages 6 to 12. Kids under 6 are free.

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