Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eddie & Johnathan Beyuka

The late Eddie Beyuka started producing jewelry in 1956, at first working with his wife Madeline who did the inlay to his silverwork. After separation, Eddie began doing both the silver and lapidary work. He was honored as a contemporary master in the ARIZONA HIGHWAYS magazine Hall of Fame in August of 1974. The entire inside back cover was devoted to showing 7 of his distinctive kachina creations designed primarily to be used as a bolo tie, but also fitted with a small stand for stand alone exhibition. Eddie's son Jonathan has carried on his Father’s work. Jonathan’s kachina bolo ties are readily available at many of the jewelry outlets here in Gallup. I had never seen one of Eddie’s kachina bolos for sale, but I had seen them in museums and of course in nearly all the books that deal with Southwest Native American jewelry. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to view a collection of the Father’s work first hand and even do side-by-side comparisons with the work of his son. I agree with others that the son’s craftsmanship is somewhat better than that of Father’s. Eddie (who’s work currently sells for as much as 10 fold than that of his son’s work) deserves historical artistic honor a notch above the son for having pioneered this unique bolo jewelry. The piece you see above is a multi-stone Hopi Snake Dancer set in sterling silver by son Jonathan. It measures approximately 3 3/8 x 2 inches. Cost = $249. Click on image for a more detailed view.