The Jewelry of the Hopi
In 1898 Sikyatala, who lived in Sichmeovi on First Mesa, was the first Hopi to learn the craft of silversmithing. He was taught by Lanyade, a Zuni, who was the first of his tribe to take up the craft. Lanyade visited the Hopi reservation to make silver for sale and trade. He stayed at First Mesa for four months, living with Sikyatala who closely observed Lanyade at work. When Lanyade left to go back to Zuni, Sikyatala bought tools of his own and began crafting silver as well as teaching other Hopis to craft this beautiful metal as well. Early on, the designs were in the style of Navajo and Zuni patterns of the time. The now prized overlay began to emerge as a Hopi style in the late 1930's and 1849's, due to the encouragement of Mary Russell Colton, who co founded the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff with her husband, Dr. Harold Colton. There was no immediate success until after World War II when Paul Saufkie, Jr., a Hopi jeweler taught silversmithing techniques beginning in 1847. With the organization of the Hopi Arts and Crafts Silvercraft Cooperative Guild on Second Mesa in 1949, a whole panoply of patterns and designs evolved. With the arrival of Hopicrafts in 1961, superior workmanship and close attention given to the smallest detail merged with outstanding designs to produce the quality of work that lead to a flouring market one finds today.