Organized in 1941 in Ft. Wingate, New Mexico, and started as a co-op in Pine Springs, Arizona, in 1942, the Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild is wholly owned by the Navajo Nation and has been creating jewelry, arts, and crafts for over 70 years.
According to Bille Hougart in “Native American and Southwestern Silver Hallmarks”, “Ambrose Roanhorse, Chester Yellowhair and Fred Peshlaki helped form the Guild to provide a base from which students graduating from the silversmith classes at the Indian Schools could practice their newly acquired skills in the marketplace.” In the 1970s, the guild became the Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise. Today, there are guild stores across Arizona and New Mexico.
In the 1944 book, “The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths”, John Adair writes, “The type of silverware that the guild promotes is […] a revival of the old simple types of jewelry, without sets for the most part. Emphasis is placed on cast work. The guild also handles vegetable-dyed rugs and some aniline-dyed rugs of similar pattern and excellent workmanship.”
The Horned Moon is the guild’s registered trademark, and since 1955 it has encouraged members to stamp their work with its hallmark.