Navajo Art: Importance of Influence of the Artist

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Native American jewelry artists have not received the recognition they deserve for centuries. However, things are finally changing for the better as modern makers are making sure that famous Native American jewelry artists are promoted to the masses. There is just something about famous art face masks, the best travel mugs art, artist edition drawstring bags, Native American jewelry for men, and Native American jewelry for women that makes one take notice. Not many people know about what Native American women artists have to offer for far too long. To pay homage to Native American jewelry, this post takes a close look at unrecognized talent.

Barbara Jean Teller Ornelas

Barbara Jean Teller Ornelas is a fifth-generation Master Navajo weaver. She is one of the most talented face masks artists and is well-known for her unique style of weaving. Her weaves tell stories unlike any other and share a gift that has been passed down through generations. The last name “Teller” was given to her great grandfather who was a Keeper of Stories. Having traveled the world, Teller Ornelas has taught Navajo weaving to a multitude of people. She wants to make sure that her name is imprinted into each piece. Her pieces can be found at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Rebecca T. Begay

Rebecca T. Begay has also produced men Native American jewelry and fine art masks that have helped her make a name of her own. She has been making jewelry for more than a decade. Her designs are truly unique as they feature tufa casting which is a Navajo technique that was created in the 1800s. The technique involves the use of the tufa stone for carving impressions on molten metal for creating earrings, bracelets, and other items. Begay has been awarded numerous prizes and has received a fellowship from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. Her work can be found at the Faust Gallery, Garland’s Indian Jewelry, and Tanner’s Indian Arts.

Penelope Joe

Penelope Joe made a name of her own at just the age of 18. She is a Navajo painter and is known for her art masks. Her pieces have been bought by the Smithsonian. Each of her work tells the stories told by her grandfather. It highlights Navajo traditions, history, and colors. It all began when she was just 5 years old.

The Navajo tale about the 4 sacred horses has been interpreted by her in the form of a painting which allowed her to win first place at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial. As a proud Native American woman, she carries the stories with her. Penelope continues to paint work that oozes Navajo storytelling. Her work can be found at Perry Null Trading in Gallup and Richardson Trading Post in Gallup.


After you have finished reading this post, you will know about the talent behind Navajo art. It is important that we as Americans preserve the identity of the nation and give credit where it is due. There is nothing more important than cherishing Native American culture and art.