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Turquoise & Tufa

Preston Monongye Buckle of Turquoise and Coral With Leaf Motif

Preston Monongye Buckle of Turquoise and Coral With Leaf Motif

Regular price $1,895.00
Regular price Sale price $1,895.00
Sale Sold out

If you're looking for a classic 1960's buckle by one of the most highly valued Hopi masters, Preston Monongye, this one just may call your name.

It has the handmade silver leaf motif that was ever-so-popular in Native American jewelry of that era, but it's created in Preston's own specific leaf style. It also has two of the design elements that Preston Monongye is best known for: tufa cast geometric patterns and inlay. Last but not least, is, of course, a turquoise stone, something that wasn't seen in a lot of jewelry coming out of Hopi at the time.

Like so many great Native American jewelers, Preston Monongye was a man of many talents who lived a full but abbreviated life. In 1934, amid the Great Depression, when he was a boy of just seven, Preston was left at Hopi to be raised by a Hopi Wutsim Priest, David Monongye, and his wife. Preston grew up as a traditional Hopi and participated in all the religious ceremonies and other cultural pursuits.

He learned to weave, carve katsinam, and eventually to paint and create silver ingot jewelry from his uncle, Gene Pooyama, a master silversmith and painter.

During World War II, Preston Monongye served the United States as a paratrooper, and he re-entered the service again during the Korean War. After his time in the military, Preston returned to Hopi and worked for the B.I.A. in law enforcement. His creative gift continued to beckon, though. By 1960, he worked full-time as an artist concentrating on his ground breaking jewelry.

Preston only lived to the age of 60, and this buckle is just a small but beautiful contribution among many that Preston Monongye left to the world. 

It measures 2 7/8" x 1 7/8" and fits a 1 1/2" belt strap. Hallmarked on the reverse, it's from a New York City collection.

  • Preston Monongye Belt Buckle
  • Circa 1960's
  • Silver with inlay, leaf work and turquoise stone
  • 2 7/8" x 1 7/8"
  • fits a 1 1/2" belt strap
  • Hallmarked on the reverse
  • New York City Collection


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