Roland Begay

Roland Hogan Begay is a Navajo silversmith who is famous for his storyteller jewelry. He was born near Gallup, New Mexico, attending a boarding school in Gallup and spending his summers working on a ranch. Here 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. Roland's saddles were highly sought after. He also learned silversmithing from his father and in 1974 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 a pictures and solders them to a background of silver or gold. He is also well known for his Navajo basket jewelry made with copper and silver. Roland Begay's work has won awards at the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial and at the Heard Museum annual show. He lives near Crownpoint, New Mexico Roland Begay painstakingly cuts scenes of Navajo life out of sheets of sterling silver and solders them to another layer of silver to create his distinctive storyteller jewelry. The lower layer of silver has been oxidized so that the images which are overlaid stand out. Roland learned to make saddles and to work silver from his father, and has been making his unique jewelry since 1974.and still raises barrel horses.

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