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Pueblo Jewelry
April 6–9, 1997

Native peoples of the Southwest have been making mosaic jewelry of turquoise, jet, and shell for at least a thousand years, with spectacular examples found at Ancestral Pueblo sites at Chaco Canyon, the Hohokam settlement at Snaketown, and the ancient Zuni village of Hawikuh, one of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola captured by Coronado in 1540. Modern manifestations of this jewelry tradition were the focus of the third annual artists’ convocation, held at the IARC in the spring of 1997. Modeled on the School’s advanced seminars, the convocations provide opportunities for round-table talks in an environment that facilitates understanding and leads to wide dissemination of the results through publications and other projects.

Eleven respected mosaic jewelry artists (including several husband-and-wife teams) from Santo Domingo and Zuni, the contemporary pueblos best known for this style of jewelry, gathered at the School in April to talk about their tradition and the materials, techniques, and designs they use. Mentoring, marketing, health hazards, and other issues also were discussed. The artists examined some of the older jewelry in the IARC collection and displayed pieces they had made for the convocation, eight of which were purchased by the IARC.


Fermin Aguilar, Santo Domingo

Charlie Bird, Santo Domingo/Laguna

Marylita Boone, Alex Boone, Zuni

Ronald Chavez, Santo Domingo

Petra Chavez, Santo Domingo

Andrew Dewa, Zuni

Rudy Laconsello, Zuni

Nancy Laconsello, Zuni

Angie Reano Owen, Santo Domingo

Lee Weebothee, Zuni

Old Roots, New Growth: Adaptation and Innovation in Contemporary Southwestern Indian Basketry
November 2–5, 1997

Dubin Artist Fellow Kevin Navasie, a yucca ring basketmaker from Hopi First Mesa, worked at the IARC throughout the summer on his baskets, and assisted with the November 1997 Indian Basketry Convocation. This meeting brought together ten accomplished basketmakers from throughout the southwest who represented Santa Clara Pueblo, Navajo, Akimel O’Odam, Tohano O’Odam, Jicarilla Apache, and several different Hopi villages. The School commissioned a basket from each weaver for the permanent collection, provided a stipend, space in a twelve bedroom house so all the participants could live together, meals and transportation, and assisted with their study of the basketry collection here.

The convocation participants spent four days of intense discussion and debate on topics at the frontiers of this artform including the creative process; the past, present, and future of this ancient tradition; and styles, materials, and techniques. The goal of this convocation was to provide an opportunity for in-depth communication among these highly skilled artists whose work is among the finest, most creative being produced today. The School provided the format to facilitate and encourage productive discussion that broadened the horizons of individual participants and lead to the dissemination of information for scholarly and public audiences.

The basketmakers decided that a museum exhibition and a small basketry market would help expose more people to their work. The result was a public exhibition and a weekend-long public educational seminar in conjunction with a basketry market which was held May 14–16, 1998 at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. The exhibition built upon the School’s convocation, incorporating the work of all the basket convocation participants. The IARC loaned thirty historic period baskets from the School’s collection, as well as the new pieces, which had been commissioned for the convocation. The exhibition runs through October 28,1998.


Annie Antone, Tohono O’odham

Sally Black, Navajo

Lorraine Black, Navajo

Mary Holiday Black, Navajo

Rikki Francisco, Akimel O’odham

Joe Val Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo

Abigail Kaursgowva, Hopi, Third Mesa

Remalda Lomayestewa, Hopi, Second Mesa

Kevin Navasie, Hopi, First Mesa

Molly Pesata, Jicarilla Apache