Juan Chief Yellowhorse Bear Watch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChief Juan Yellowhorse is from the Towering House People Clan “Ki yaa’ áanii”, from Wide Ruins Arizona. Chief Yellowhorse owned and operated “CHIEF YELLOWHORSE TRADING POST” from 1960 until his death in 1999. The store is located on Route 66 at the Arizona-New Mexico border and is still managed by the Yellowhorse Family.

Hallmark of Juan Chief Yellowhorse

Hallmark of Juan Chief Yellowhorse

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Lawrence Saufkie carried on the Hopi Tradition of Overlay

Lawrence Saufkie (1935-2011), Hopi Pueblo, Bear Clan, was the son of Paul Saufkie Sr. and Ruby Saufkie and brother of Andrew Saufkie, Paul Saufkie, Jr., Vaughn Saufkie; husband of Griselda Saufkie; father of Wilmer Saufkie Lomayaoma; uncle of Bob Sekakuku.

Lawrence_SaufkieLawrence learned silverwork, particularly overlay, from his father Paul Saufkie Sr. His father and Fred Kaboutie began perfecting this style in the 1930s and when Hopi soldiers returned from World War II, they began teaching them the method.

What is Overlay?

With silver overlay, there are two layers of silver. The top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then place on a solid silver layer.

The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is traditionally darkened (oxidized) for contrast. In addition the same areas are usually etched with hashmarks.

The two layers are “sweated” together – that is, the silver is heated so that the two layers meld.

The result is a 3-D picture with great depth and interest.

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Throughout his life, Lawrence was a great ambassador of Hopi jewelry and a teacher to many.

His hallmark is a bear and SAUFKIE like this

Hallmark of Lawrence Saufkie, Hopi

Hallmark of Lawrence Saufkie, Hopi

Lawrence Saufkie was a Hopi silversmith for more than 60 years. In 1998, he was recognized by the American Museum of Natural History for his contributions to this art form and was the recipient of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lawrence Saufkie was designated an Arizona Living Treasure in 2002. He has been featured in numerous magazines and books and his work has been collected by museums such as the Heard Museum, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Peabody Museum, and Harvard University.

BU129-BG-bearpaw-saufkie-1Paula

Foot Forward Carver

Hello Paula,

Unless this rings a bell, please don’t waste any of your time, but I have a fairly simple question.
 
Some 20 years ago we bought a turquoise bear fetish by the “foot forward” carver. Do you know that carver’s name?
 
The right front foot is slightly forward of the left foot.
 
Thank you for your time!
 
Richard
Sorry Richard, for me, no bells are ringing on a carver, but perhaps a reader of the blog knows and will add a comment.
Here is the walking bear design, sometimes called the 3-legged bear, used by Navajo silversmith Rosco Scott
NBS323-med-bears-scott-150h
Paula

Pendant loop too small for leather choker – what do I do?

Hi Paula,

Perhaps you can help out a fetish newbie. A few weeks back I bought from your website a black bear pendant and a leather necklace to put it on.

NP354-ABC-blackbear-pino-A

leather-chokers-braided-1

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I’ve found the loop on the bear is too small to fit over the clasp on the necklace. I don’t want to return either one, but any suggestions? Should I take it to a jeweler? Try to flatten the loop to make it a little bigger? I sure don’t want to damage it. Or perhaps buy a different chain? How would I know that one would fit? I plan to eventually make a necklace of several fetishes that have special meaning for me, and I guess I need some help before I start.

I would appreciate any directions or suggestions you could give me.

Thanking you in advance,
Linda

Hi Linda,

First of all, any time your purchase something from us, feel free to ask ahead of time if a certain bead necklace, for example, will go through the bail of a pendant you are looking at. We can always check that out for you. For most pendants and necklaces we list the size of the bail on the pendant and the diameter (or thickness) of the necklace so you can get a pretty good idea.

The pendant you purchased was shown with a sterling silver round omega which would work very well with it as would most chains.

omega round thin

Also we have some very small, 5mm, antiqued beads that could work.

BD792-18-4mm-smooth-antiqued-arviso-2

And yes, you could take your bear pendant to a jeweler who could gently heat and open up or otherwise reshape the heavy wire loop.

Paula

A friend said I need a medicine bag

hi i was talking to a new friend on face book and said that i had a dreamcatcher over my bed to keep me safe an she said that i need a medicine bag to help keep me safe but not sure whether i need to buy one or make one so how do i go about either and what would i put in it please
angie

Hi Angie,

Choosing a medicine bag and its contents is a very personal thing.

We’ve put together some information about medicine bags which you can read here

What is a Medicine Bag and what goes in it?

Medicine bags come in all sizes and types – you can browse them here on the Medicine Bag Page

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Some medicine bags have animal spirits associated with them. You can read about Animal Spirits here.

FB387-labradorite-laiwakete-1

Serpentine – A Very Popular Stone for Native American Fetish Carvings

Serpentine
serpentine horse carvingThe state rock of California, serpentine is a gemrock with wide diversity in color and character, from green to yellow, with browns, black and whites. It can be bi-colored, streaked, mottled, banded or spotted and it has a slippery, snake-like surface (hence the name). It is composed of several minerals including minor amounts of chrysotile a somewhat benign form of asbestos.

In the rock industry the scientific term “marble” is also applied to serpentine rocks that can be polished to a high shine. But , technically, “marble” and “serpentine” are two different rocks. Scientific terms (in this case “marble”) can have a different meaning in industry. Dark green serpentine “marble” is frequently referred to as verde antique.

It is said to help one find inner peace, calmness, and a long life; instills in the bearer a respect for the elderly and wards off snake bites.

Although this bear looks like he was carved from wood, he is a serpentine bear!

Serpentine Bear Fetish by Zuni Carver Travis Panteah

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I Want to Make My Boyfriend a Bear Claw Necklace for Christmas

Hi Paula

I want to make my boyfriend a bear claw necklace for Christmas, but I can’t seem to find a mount to put the claw in. Do you have any suggestions on where I could find something like this?
Thank you!

Arielle

 

Bear Claw Pendant by Navajo Ernie Hawthorne

 

Hi Arielle,

Many of the Native American artists purchase their supplies from Indian Jewelers Supply so that is where I would start if I were you.

Best of luck with your project and Beary Christmas to you and your boyfriend !

 

Bear Claw Necklace by Navajo Elaine Sam

 


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