Monthly Archives: May 2013

FROM THE MESAS – Arts and Crafts from the Hopi Pueblos

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe will present “Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land” opening on May 17th.  The show features previously unseen works depicting cultural materials, specifically paintings of Katsina from the Southwest Native American tribes. O’Keeffe found inspiration in the enchanting landscapes of New Mexico as well as the authentic objects and architecture of her environment. The small number of works on this subject matter are certainly treasures for their unique perspective.

In support of the homecoming for this traveling exhibition, Shiprock Santa Fe will be hosting our own gallery show “From the Mesas” with period examples from the Hopi Pueblos. Our items are the types of objects that O’Keeffe experienced firsthand, including Katsina and pottery. We will also feature incredible jewelry from the Hopi master Charles Loloma in the exhibition.

Please join us in celebrating the work of renowned American Modernist Georgia O’Keeffe! Shiprock Santa Fe special selections will be available May 17th in the gallery and online starting Monday, May 20th!  Take a look at the museum exhibition page here for a full description of the show.


Navajo Ketohs

Ketohs (pronounced gato) are Navajo bracers or bow guards and were originally crafted from hide. The first ketohs with silver were made as early as the mid to late 1800’s during the first phase of Navajo silversmithing. The silver for these pieces was generally made from melted coins and would be cast in a two-piece mold. They would then be taken from the mold, hammered into shape, and sanded until smooth. A cold chisel and stamps were used for the earliest designs, and after the 1880’s ketohs saw the addition of bezels with turquoise and other stones. The turquoise pieces for ketohs were sometimes taken from earlier tab necklaces or earrings. Later ketohs developed more complex design motifs and techniques.

Vintage Navajo ketohVintage Navajo ketohVintage Navajo ketohVintage Navajo ketohVintage Navajo ketohVintage Navajo ketohVintage Navajo ketoh

Vintage ketohs were made as functioning bow guards, they were meant to protect the wearer from the pull of the bow string and arrow. They were also taken out at ceremonial dances and were considered to be important pieces of art. Today, ketohs are worn by both collectors and fashion icons primarily for personal adornment much like bracelets. We have many excellent examples of vintage ketohs; inquire for further information!

Lander Blue Turquoise

Lander Blue turquoise can be identified by its rich dark blue color and intricate spider web matrix. It was discovered in Lander County, Nevada in 1973 by Rita Hapgood and her two sisters. Rita Hapgood later sold her claim to Marvin Syme and Henry Dorian, who then formed the Lander Blue Turquoise Corporation. The mine was technically a pocket mine, or hat mine, because there were small floats of turquoise instead of extensive zones or long veins (aka you could “cover it with a hat” it was so small). Approximately 100 pounds of Lander came out of the mine. Because of the small amount mined it’s currently the most valuable and highest grade turquoise on the market.

Lander Blue cabochonLander Blue cabochon
Lander Blue ringCharles Loloma Lander Blue ring– SOLD
Jennifer Curtis Lander Blue pendantJennifer Curtis Lander Blue pendant
Charles Loloma Lander Blue buckleCharles Loloma Lander Blue buckle
Charles Loloma carved pendantCharles Loloma carved Lander Blue pendant– SOLD

We have quite a few examples of this gorgeous turquoise in the gallery. Please inquire for further information!