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Begay, Roland

“Roland Begay is a Navajo silversmith who is famous for his storyteller jewelry. He was born near Gallup, New Mexico. He attended a boarding school in Gallup and spent his summers working on a ranch. There he learned about training and raising barrel racing horses. He went on to compete in rodeos with his barrel horses and also riding bulls. Roland’s father taught him leather working and how to make saddles. His saddles were highly sought after. Roland’s also learned silversmithing from his father and in l974 he began producing the unique type of jewelry that has made him famous with collectors. Roland creates scenes from Navajo life in his jewelry using an overlay technique. He cuts out hogans, people, horses and other parts of the pictures and solders them into a background of silver or gold. He also is well known for his intricate Navajo basket jewelry made with copper and silver.” The basket jewelry is beautifully individually hand-made like no other silversmith working today.”

Roland’s work has won him awards at the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup, New Mexico and The Heard Museum Guild Show, Phoenix, Arizona.

(from American Indian Jewelry II A-L, by Gregory & Angie Schaaf)
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