Representing the work of Indigenous artists
Representing the work of Indigenous artists
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Navajo Turquoise Cluster Bracelet
Navajo Turquoise Cluster Bracelet

Navajo Turquoise Cluster Bracelet

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$941.00
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$941.00
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Hand crafted by Tonya June Rafael. Navajo (Diné), born in Gallup, New Mexico. Her maternal clans are Naakai Diné, born for the Kiinyaa’anii. She currently resides in Blackwater, a small community between Thoreau and Prewitt, New Mexico.

"I was raised by my grandparents Tom and Mary Rafael. They were full-time silversmiths. I remember when I was eight years old, while my grandparents were away taking a lunch break from their jewelry work, my curiosity drew me to my grandfather’s workbench. I decided to play with his silversmith tools and torch. I sat in his chair and imagined that I was making jewelry, and actually lit the torch and smelted my grandfather’s silverwork into a glob of melted silver.  Instantly, I knew I was in trouble for messing up my grandfather’s work.  I got scared and hid the evidence by throwing the glob of melted silver under his workbench. I am sure grandpa wondered and speculated on the disappearance of his work.  That was my first initial trial and experimenting and handling silversmith tools.  A decade later, at the age of 18, I began making sterling silver earrings and ‘slave bracelets’ as a piece-worker for a jewelry manufacturing company in Gallup. Then I moved to Albuquerque to attend college at the University of New Mexico."