indian jewelry

              Native Jewelry Maker- Verma Nequatewa, Hopi

              Nequatewa draws designs and patterns from the rich environment she sees from her studio at Third Mesa on the
              Hopi Reservation in Arizona. Her inlay jewelry is reflective of patterns frequently observed in northern Arizona,
              such as the subtle colors a cloudy sky casts upon the vast surrounding lands or the complexity of the stone walls
              of ancient homes. Hand-cutting stones to create intricate patterns, Nequatewa fits them together on a flat gold
              surface like puzzle pieces. Through the years, she also learned how to choose the best turquoise, the finest coral,
              and other precious and semiprecious stones. An unusual or exceptional stone often serves as the inspiration for
              her jewelry. With a keen sense of color patterning, Nequatewa places turquoise next to opals or lapis lazuli. The
              stones not only complement each other, but the asymmetrical inlay also serves as an essential component
              contributing to the total design.

              In addition to inlay bracelets, earrings and other jewelry forms, Nequatewa is well-known for her corn maiden
              pendants--abstract forms imbued with their own personalities. A highly textured gold surface might reveal a
              glimpse of opal where a heart or eye would be. Reversed, the pendants expose intense color and pattern. Copyright

              Bassman,  T. Beauty of Hopi Jewelry. 1999.
              Dubin, L.S. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment. 1999.
              Foxx, J.J. Turquoise Trail: Native American Jewelry and Culture of the Southwest. 1993.
              Frank, L. Indian Silver Jewelry of the Southwest, 1868-1930. 1997.
              Schaaf, G. American Indian Jewelry I: 1200 Artist Biographies. 2003.
              Schiffer, N. Jewelry by Southwest American Indians: Evolving Designs. 1991.
              Simpson, G. A Guide to Indian Jewelry of the Southwest. 1999.
              Wright, B. Hallmarks of the Southwest. 2000.
                Loloma's niece, Verma Nequatewa, who
                initially learned jewelrymaking while still in
                high school, worked with her uncle as an
                apprentice for twenty years. Through their
                close working relationship she learned about
                design, technique and color--and the beauty
                that surrounded her in the daily routine and
                ceremonial life at Hopi. Loloma's attitude
                toward life and his life's work had an
                indelible impact upon Nequatewa. For years
                they worked side by side in the studio Loloma
                built near his home at Hotevilla. A tragic
                injury caused his health to fail and, in 1989,
                Nequatewa began making her own jewelry
                under the name Sonwai, choosing the feminine
                Hopi word for beauty to match the masculine