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Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family

Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown October 21st, 2014 Last Updated on: October 21st, 2014

Bracelet, Raymond C. Yazzie, 2012. Coral with accents of opal, sugilite, lapis lazuli, Orvil Jack turquoise, 14-karat gold, silver. Width, 1½ in. Collection of Leota and Phil Knight. Photo by Sam Franks.

Bracelet, Raymond C. Yazzie, 2012. Coral with accents of opal, sugilite, lapis lazuli, Orvil Jack turquoise, 14-karat gold, silver. Width, 1½ in. Collection of Leota and Phil Knight. Photo by Sam Franks.

These jewelry pieces are truly a work of art! I would be honored to wear any of these, even if just for a day. You can find these pieces and more at The National Museum of the American Indian in New York at their new exhibit, Glittering World.

Glittering World presents the story of Navajo jewelry through the lens of the gifted Yazzie family of Gallup, New Mexico—one of the most celebrated jewelry making families of our time. The silver, gold, and stone inlay work of Lee Yazzie and his younger brother, Raymond, has won every major award in the field. Their sister Mary Marie makes outstanding jewelry that combines fine bead- and stonework; silver beads are handmade by other sisters.



Glittering World—featuring almost 300 examples of contemporary jewelry made by several members of the Yazzie family—shows how the family’s art flows from their Southwest environs and strong connection to their Navajo culture. With historic pieces from the museum’s collections, the exhibition places Navajo jewelry making within its historical context of art and commerce, illustrates its development as a form of cultural expression, and explores the meanings behind its symbolism.

Belt buckle, Lee A. Yazzie, 2000. Lone Mountain turquoise, sterling silver. Length, 2⅜ in. Collection of Gene and Ann Waddell. Photo © Kiyoshi Togashi.

Belt buckle, Lee A. Yazzie, 2000. Lone Mountain turquoise, sterling silver. Length, 2⅜ in. Collection of Gene and Ann Waddell. Photo © Kiyoshi Togashi.

Sun face bolo, Raymond C. Yazzie, 2013. Lone Mountain turquoise, 14-karat gold, silver. Diameter, 2 in. Collection of Lloyd and Betty Van Horn. Photo by Scott Hill.

Sun face bolo, Raymond C. Yazzie, 2013. Lone Mountain turquoise, 14-karat gold, silver. Diameter, 2 in. Collection of Lloyd and Betty Van Horn. Photo by Scott Hill.

Check out this video with the Yazzie family and their beautiful creations:



Glittering World runs November 13, 2014–January 10, 2016 in New York, NY. For more information visit http://nmai.si.edu/visit/newyork/.


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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[…] most important for a handful of groups in the Southwest. The main turquoise jewelry makers were the Navajo, Hopi, and […]

Doug

hi I just thought I’d let you know that I think that’s a very beautiful about particle and if you could e-mail me how much it would cost I would appreciate it thank you Doug

Alumnismark

I have a painting done by Ramos Sanchez at age 11 that I have loved and csheiehrd for so long now. I had no idea who he was when I purchased it, but have tried to find out more for years now. I couldn’t believe I found his name on your blog!!!! I would love to contact him and send him a picture of it and see if he remembers it. Can you help me? I would SO appreciate it!!!!Leslie Valinoti

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