ZUNI: THE ART AND THE PEOPLE

ZUNI: THE ART AND THE PEOPLE

 

VOL I 1975.ZUNI THE ART AND THE PEOPLE VOL I., AND ED BELL, 1975.

 

When Squaw Bell Traders publishing first came out with these books I didn’t realize how important they would become. They were printed by a yearbook company in Texas, wasn’t sure how I felt about that. However, it covered lots of artists that collectors didn’t now about, like Jack Weekooty.  There is also an excellent photo showing him casting.

 

For the most part each artist gets one or two full pages.  Oliver and Angela Cellicion are pictured with their well-known rainbow man.  Marie Qualo, best known as a potter displays her unique sunface.  The jewelry by Horace and Lupe Iule is represented by their famous cross.

 

Myra Tucson who had already been a jeweler for thirty years when the books came out is nicely represented by her sunface and thunderbird designs.  Fred and Lula Bowannie have two pages of excellent work.  Albert and Dolly Banteah had been making jewelry for only six years at time of publication and are still creating fine inlay pieces.  She is the daughter of  Jake Haloo.  All her siblings do excellent work of this type.

 

Today this is a must have book.  Copies can be found for less than 20 dollars if you search.  Amazon has a copy for $952.  Usually the set of three can be found for $100

Turquoise needlepoint necklace by Eleanor Weeka from VOL I

VOL II, M 1976. SQUAW BELL TRADERS  

 

This volume contains some of the heavy hitters; Bobbby and Corraine Shack. Andrew and Don Dewa, several of the Panteahs, and Jobeth Mayes.  Jose and Cornelia Bowannie are pictured in a large photo which takes up the room so their very unusual sunfaces and knifewings only get small photos.

 

Julalita Lamy gets a beautiful two page spread with excellent pictures of her knifewing and rainbow man, and her little antelope which has become her trademark and often copied.  

 

One of the treats is a two page spread of the fine overlay inlay by Sammy and Esther Guardian who have not gotten the attention they deserve.  They mostly picture birds but their work is very different from all the other inlayers.

I wish that Ellen Quandelacy would have been better represented in the book for her amazing work.  Of course Andrew Dewa get a gorgeous two page spread.  His work is some of the best Zuni jewelry of all time.  His brother Don also gets two pages.

VOL III 1977, LAST VOLUME OF THE TRILOGY

 

As with the first two volumes, this offers a mix of greats and relative unknowns, or people largely forgotten.  Hugh Bowekaty gets a nice two page spread.  He was one of the three men who lived together and are generally credited with the invention of needlepoint along with Bryant Waatsa and Douglas Lesansee.  Walter Nahkatewa had three beautiful daughters and Hugh married Agnes  possibly most beautiful of all.  They were both credited with their early jewelry as pictured in Vol. III. 

Buddy and Anita Hattie get a two page spread which indicates their position in the jewelry world.  In the Fifties their name appears often among prize winners.  Today they seem to have lost their position.

 

Hesser Lanyate, grandson of the famous Lanyate was doing excellent overlay inlay.  He also gets two pages and a nice write-up from the Bells.  Gary and Paulin were stars at the time and they get a great two page spread.  Fred and Lolita Natachu were just making their mark in the jewelry world. Fred Comes from the the famous Natachu family and Lolita from the equally famous Haloo family.  They are still doing super overlay inlay like most of the Haloo group.

 

Celestine and Elizabeth Cooche also get two page attention.  Of course they are famous for their palomino inlays, but Celestine was also famous for his ranger buckle sets.  They were also doing some fine cluster work.

 

Katherine Peyneta gets some attention because she was doing very impressive beadwork. Which is very valuable today.

 

Taken together the three books are a great look at the Zuni jewelry trade in the early seventies.  They are essential for anyone collecting this work.  I especially like the photos of the smiths themselves because it makes them seem more real and personal.  The whole set is widely available for around $100—just have to search a little.

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