Portrait of Preston Monongye


Charles Loloma

Preston Monongye

Verma Nequatewa

Larry Golsh

Boyd Tsosie

Sedelio Lovato


Preston Monongye

Preston Monongye is best known for his tufacast and inlaid collaborative pieces with Lee Yazzie they created through the Gallup trader, Joe Tanner. Monongye's designs broke away from the traditional forms of the past redesigning them into "new Indian art."

Preston Monongye was born in Los Angeles; his mother, a California Mission Indian, and his father, a Mexican. At the age of seven, his family moved to the Hopi reservation where he was adopted by a Hopi family. He began his jewelry apprenticeship by the age of nine melting silver coins for his Hopi uncle to use in silversmithing. During WWII he joined the Army Paratroopers, serving as a paramedic in the South Pacific and later served in Korea. Upon returning he studied law at Occidental College in Los Angeles and went into law enforcement working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It wasn't until the 1960s he began making jewelry full-time.