A pair of Hopi satin silver screw back earrings by the National Treasure himself Bernard Dawahoya. Dating from the 1950’s these hand made treasures are a works of art from his early silversmithing years.
We are fortunate to have for sale a pair of hand made screw back earrings by Mr. Bernard Dawahoya that date from his early works in the 1950’s. They are heavy silver tear drops that measure one inch in length with a total length from top of screw back to tip being 1 1/2 inches and featuring his trademark texturing and negative imprinting. On the back of one of the earrings is Mr. Dawahoya’s personal trademark of a Snow Cloud.
Bernard Dawahoya, or Masaqueva (his Hopi name which means Wings of the Sun), was born in the Second Mesa village of Shungopavi, was a member of the Snow Clan, and a village leader. He was a man of many talents and was skilled in many of the traditional Hopi crafts but focused primarily on silversmithing since a teenager. Bernard stamped each piece he made with his hallmark, a Snow Cloud.
Bernard had long been recognized as a master silversmith and his work is easily recognized by his unique, bold and crisp designs, the heavy weight silver he used,the distinct satin and the precise matting (texturing) he tooled into the negative areas of his pieces. He developed the design elements he used on his jewelry over the years; they are symbolic of Hopi beliefs, history, and culture.
Early in his career he was hired by Emory Sekaquaptew, a Hopi leader and scholar from the Third Mesa village of Hotevilla who was known as the “First Hopi” or “First Indian,” he is best known for his role in compiling the first dictionary of the Hopi language and being the first Hopi to graduate from West Point. Bernard began making jewelry in at Sekaquaptew’s Hopi Enterprise Shop which opened in 1961 in Phoenix, Arizona. A rivalryquickly developed between The Hopi Silvercraft Guild and the newly opened Sekaqaptewa enterprise that became known as Hopicraft. Hopicraft was relocated in Kykotsmovi Village in 1962, the seat of the Hopi nation. The People have been living in this Arizona village for almost 1,000 years, which probably makes it the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States. Hopicraft’s display room was re-located in 1971 to the Hopi Cultural Center. Bernard eventually re-settled in Shungopavi, creating his own shop, while exhibiting at arts and crafts shows. In 1998 he was designated an Arizona Living Treasure. His works are included in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University as well as many private collections across the United States. Sadly, this extremely talented man passed away in 2010.