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A superb pair of Hopi silver and gold inlaid “shield” style earrings by Verma “Sonwai” Nequatewa, c. 2000’s
THESE EARRINGS PACK A TREMENDOUS amount of concentrated beauty into some fairly tight one-inch spaces; classic silver triangularly shaped earrings perfectly inlaid with a gorgeous color palette of three different shades of lovely fossilized ivory, deep brown desert ironwood, beautiful blue spiderweb turquoise, very possibly Lone Mountain, and three gold spacer bars by the renowned Hopi jewelry artist, Verma “Sonwai” Nequatewa, whose name literally means “Beauty” in Hopi and whose life’s work was recently and most appropriately recognized in 2018 by The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona with a major retrospective exhibition entitled “Sonwai: The Jewelry of Verma Nequatewa.” We are proud to say that we were lenders to this exhibition.
Verma Nequatewa’s jewelry is truly incomparable. Trained by her Uncle, the brilliant, ground-breaking Hopi jewelry artist, Charles Loloma (1921-1991), from her teenaged years beginning around 1968, Verma is one of
the great classic artists of Native America with a formidable body of extraordinary work spanning the past five decades. However, at 71 years of age today, Verma is starting to slow down just a bit and is not making quite as much jewelry as she did in past years. This coupled with the increased demand for her pieces which her Museum retrospective and her increasing popularity in Japan caused means that there will most likely be less of her jewelry available in the years to come.
“Charles taught that beauty is all around us on Hopi; in the environment, in the culture, in ceremony. By combining elements from what is a part of my everyday life, the finest of ideas, with the finest of materials, I can interpret a part of Hopi for people to see and wear.”
The earrings measure 1” in height and they are 1” in width at their widest points. The earrings are mounted
on posts and they weigh a very comfortable and easy to wear 6 grams or 1/4 ounce each. The earrings are in outstanding original condition and they are properly signed “Sonwai” in Verma’s distinctive cursive signature on the back of each earring. One silver post has a very slight bend in one spot, but this is of no consequence.
These striking earrings are the very epitome of elegance, ease and style; easy-to-wear go-to everyday or special occasion-type pieces which essentially makes every time and place you wear them; a special occasion, sensational-looking perfectly-crafted precious jewelry pieces by one of the greatest Native American artists of all time.
And for those of you who might be searching for that perfect Holiday gift for that very special someone
you care about a lot, possibly even yourself, this may just be the ticket.
Verma Nequatewa greeting guests at the opening of
The Heard Museum’s Sonwai exhibition, October, 2018