Zuni Artist Information – Marilyn Chuyate Quam

Hi Paula,
I have a sterling and mother of pearl slide pendant (see photo below) made by Marilyn Chuyate and have been unable to find any info that she ever made jewelry. Her name is stamped on the back of this piece. Do you have any info on this or know how to contact her? If she does not want to be contacted directly you could pass on my info to her. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,  Roxy P

Hi Roxy,
You may indeed have a unique piece because I have never seen jewelry made by Marilyn Chuyate (Quam). She is a Zuni artist most noted for her darling small fetish carvings: bears, turtles, horses. First a little bit about her name.
Her family name is Marilyn Chuyate; she is sister to Octavius Chuyate, also a Zuni carver.
Both she and her brother are mentioned and their work shown in Zuni Fetishes and Carvings by Kent McMannis.
She married Eldred Quam, also a Zuni fetish carver, so is knows as Marilyn Chuyate Quam. (Quam is pronounced KWAM.)
Eldred’s entire family tree is included in the above mentioned book.
Her husband Eldred Quam is the son of Rosalia Quam and Andrew Emerson Quam, both former carvers, both deceased.  Rosalia was noted for stringing bird fetishes and for her fetish horses, inlaid frogs, and owls. Andrew Emerson was noted for his bird necklaces. Rosalia and Andrew taught their children the carving craft which included Eldred Quam, Marilyn’s husband.
We’ve had several of Mairlyn Chuyate Quam’s fetishes in our store – just to give you an example – all were signed with all three of her intitials.
Zuni Bear Fetish Carving by Marilyn Chuyate Quam

Zuni Bear Fetish Carving by Marilyn Chuyate Quam

So I would guess the pendant you have was made before she married since it uses only her family name. It has a vintage and very handmade look to it. The leaf looks handmade and the bezels which hold the Mother of Pearl look hand cut. A very nice piece and something you should treasure.

I have no specific personal contact information but a good place to always start is Zuni, New Mexico.

Best of luck and enjoy !


10 thoughts on “Zuni Artist Information – Marilyn Chuyate Quam

  1. Hi I am trying to find out information about a vintage turquoise bracelet i have left to me by my late brother-in-law.The bracelet is heavy with feathers and two layers of turquoise.The initals on the inside M.Chuyate, Can you please help.Thanks Barbara

  2. Hello Paula and Roxy,
    I have this turquoise and silver ring that my mother let me have because I LOVE vintage turquoise rings! I just now googled ‘m chuyate’ and I found this page. The turquoise and silver ring that I love so much is nearly identical in style to Roxy’s pendant. There are two stones encased in the same repetitive half circle design, there are two leaves alwo, and there are four of those silver balls surrounding the design. It’d be very interesting to learn more.

  3. I have the ring that matches the pendant. I love the ring and just now started looking into the designer.

  4. She also was a Zuni jewelry maker; as I understand no longer from arthritis. I have a lapis and sterling floral watchband by her. Stamped M Chuyate, etched 4640

  5. I am looking for information about a heavy silver man’s watch band with silver feathers on each side along tourquoise and coral (?), with M. Chuyate stamped on the inside. As well as a woman’s silver watchband with similar design. We purchased these in late 1974 or early 1975 from dealers at a roadstand on Bell Road, which was partially dirt road. Does anyone have any idea of the value or where further information may be had? I would appreciate any information, for they are beautiful pieces.


  6. Hello Paula,
    I, like Roxy P, own a set (pendant, earrings and wristwatch) stamped M.Chuyate, which I inherited from my Grandmother. She was a collector of Native American jewelry and probably purchased the set in the seventies. I was surprise to see how similar my set is to Roxy P’s, definitely the same artist.

  7. I also have a piece of Marilyns jewelry. It’s a watch bracelet and it’s signed M. Chuyate. It looks like old pawn.

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