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
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