Larry Moses Begay silver jewelry
Known for his intricate silver creations, Larry Moses Begay (b. 1969) began creating jewelry in the late 1980s. He is a member of the famous Begay family that has been silversmithing for decades. Silversmithing and jewelry making is a traditional part of the Navajo Nation, Lukachukai, to which Larry Moses Begay belongs. Traditionally, Begay works with sterling silver, gold, turquoise, onyx, malachite, lapis, and mother of pearl. Also, he signs his jewelry with initials LMB, or LB and horse hallmark.
Diné (Navajo) hereditary silversmith Larry Moses Begay used to exhibit his art works in several Indian Markets in Santa FE and at the Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show.
Historically, notable Southwestern Indian silversmithing tribes include Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and Rio Grande Pueblos. Originally, Navajo silversmiths used to make ornaments for themselves or relatives. However, after 1900, they expanded silver manufacturing, due to traders and tourists. The inherent love of ornamentation and jewelry, the availability of turquoise and silver, together with craftsmanship talents, allowed tribal jewelers to develop silver jewelry art. Noteworthy, most jewelers did not learn to silversmith until the 20th century. Besides, only men practiced silversmithing, and Navajo women began making jewelry only in the 20th century.
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