1938 to Present
Zuni Cluster, Distinctive "Dishta" style
Dishta, Alvin - Dishta, Vincent
FIRST YEAR MAKING ART:
Your style is known as the Dishta style. Who was the first the first Dishta to make this type of inlay jewelry?
My father, Frankie Dishta, was the first to make this style.
The names are always confusing because each of you are referred to as Dishta?
Yes, my son Vincent makes this same style and continues the family tradition.
Did you learn from your parents?
Yes, my father and mother taught me how to make jewelry. They would get lots of orders from C.G. Wallace and I would help.
When did you first learn?
My parents taught me in the 1930s, but I didn’t make jewelry fulltime until the 1940s when I married and needed to support a family.
Did you have any brothers or sisters that made jewelry in the family style?
I had a brother but he never made jewelry. He was in the National Guard and would also herd sheep for other people to make his living.
How about your family, did you have any other children besides Vincent you taught jewelry making?
My wife and I had seven children and we taught each of them how to make jewelry. The two girls made their work a little different, but the rest of them did the small inlay circles like my father taught me.
Did your kids pick it up easy?
Yes, they were always around it and before they started making jewelry themselves they had seen me and their mother making jewelry since they were babies. Vincent taught himself from the scraps we would leave on the workbench.
C.G. Wallace would have been gone by the time your kids started working fulltime, who would they sell to?
They would take their around to the different Traders, and buyers would always find out where we lived and come to the house. Probably Ernie Vanderwagen did the most buying here in the Village and would make large orders.
Do you make jewelry anymore?
The last piece of jewelry I made was around three years ago, my vision has gotten real bad.
Do you have any of your pieces at home?
In pawn here (laughs). We made our jewelry for trade and never kept much. I am told that some of my work is in museums, and I would like to see it there.
What was your favorite thing to make?
Everyone always wanted ranger buckles, and I had gotten fast at making the buckles so I liked getting orders for them. My favorite thing to make was the squash blossom necklaces.
What was your hallmark and when did you start using it?
My hallmark is a V DISHTA. I started using it in the 1950s. My parents never used a hallmark on their work, but everyone knows the Dishta style.