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A Hopi Sterling Silver Overlay Pendant

by Michael Kabotie, 2007

A striking, modernist, large Hopi silver pendant made by the renowned Hopi jeweler and painter, Michael Kabotie (1942-2009). Michael Kabotie was the son of the legendary Hopi painter, jeweler and educator Fred Kabotie (1900-1986). Michael Kabotie grew up surrounded by the art created by his famous Father and his fellow artists; jewelry made using the Hopi overlay silver technique Fred helped develop as co-founder of The Hopi Arts and Crafts Guild and the extraordinary paintings Fred created based on the ancient ceremonial kiva murals at the ruined Hopi village of Awatovi.  Later, these same Awatovi Kiva Murals would also furnish the young Michael Kabotie with much of his artistic inspiration, including, specifically, for this pendant. Michael used ---and modernized in his own stylized manner-- many motifs drawn from these ancient ceremonial depictions as a constant source of inspiration for his jewelry designs, their "layered" compositions were perfect for his sophisticated use and development of the traditional Hopi overlay jewelry technique his Father had originally helped to create.

In traditional Hopi silver overlay technique, one layer of silver is laid over another and through cutouts and selective oxidizing, depth, shading and other accentuation is developed. Michael Kabotie took this process a significant step further, using essentially a "triple-overlay" technique to achieve far more depth, greater relief and more precise accentuation in his complex designs. This pendant is a perfect example of Michael's jewelry work at the height of his artistic abilities. Mike's jewelry, particularly large and important pieces such as this one, is rare and hard to come by. Few pieces exist as Mike did not generate a great deal of jewelry due to his elaborate and time intensive jewelry-making techniques as well as to the fact that he always split his artistic time and energy between jewelry-making and painting. Mike found paintings easier and faster to make than jewelry and, as a result, he did considerably more painting.  Unfortunately, Mike died an unexpected and untimely death in late 2009 just as The Heard Museum in Phoenix, ironically, was preparing a retrospective of his work as their featured artist for the Annual Heard Indian Market in March, 2010. A highly influential and significant artist, mentor and example to many other Native American artists, Michael Kabotie was a brilliant and gentle man who left an extraordinary artistic legacy which will only grow deeper with the passage of time.

This pendant is strung on a handmade, suede leather double thong and measures 4 3/8" length, 1 7/8" width and 1/8" depth.  The total length of the necklace from top of clasp to bottom of pendant, 12 1/4", the total necklace circumference around the neck is 17 1/2". The pendant weighs a very substantial 95.3 grams or 3.33 ounces and is signed "Lomawywesa" (Michael Kabotie's Hopi name) and dated "07" and marked "Sterling" on the back. It is in wonderful, like-new original condition.

Inquire                            Price  $3,200                        Purchase

Michael Kabotie Hopi Silver Overlay Pendant
Michael Kabotie Hopi Silver Overlay Pendant
Michael Kabotie Hopi Silver Overlay Pendant

Copyright 2010 Fine Arts of the Southwest, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or use is strictly prohibited.

Michael Kabotie Hopi Silver Overlay Pendant