June 18th, 2020: Sonwai
High above the dusty plains of Northeastern Arizona sits the village of Hotevilla, perched on the edge of Second Mesa with views that span hundreds of miles, looking towards the San Francisco peaks in the distance. This is the home of Hopi master jeweler Verma Nequatewa, and where she creates her exquisite pieces in gold and silver, using her artistic moniker, Sonwai.
Sonwai is the inheritor of the artistic tradition begun by her uncle Charles Loloma, with whom she worked for many years, and whose studio she now calls her own. But her work is distinctly her own, and continues to grow and evolve, making her one of the most desired artists for collectors of cutting edge Native jewelry. Many of her designs incorporate tufa casting, which, combined with precious materials from around the world, give an organic feel not often found in contemporary jewelry.
For more than 10 years, Shiprock Santa Fe has hosted an opening for Sonwai on the eve of SWAIA’s Indian Market. This year, we will continue our yearly celebration of Sonwai’s artistic prowess, although Indian Market will exist this year only on-line. We present this collection as a prelude to her opening, and with the sincere wish that you will all be able to join us in, either virtually or in person, in August to celebrate the work of this extraordinary woman.