Lawrence Saufkie, Hopi Pueblo Jeweler

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Lawrence Saufkie (1935-2011) bear hallmark - signature

Lawrence Saufkie was known for his exceptional craftsmanship which extended to silver overlay and set stones jewelry, as well as textiles and musical instruments. Lawrence's hallmark featured a bear, symbolizing his connection to the Bear Clan. In recognition of his contributions, he was designated an Arizona Living Treasure in 2002. His legacy continues to inspire admirers of Native American art and jewelry.

"Lawrence Saufkie (1935-2011), Hopi Pueblo, Bear Clan, active around 1974-2011 was born at the Grand Canyon while his father, Paul Saufkie, worked there for the Fred Harvey Company. By the time Lawrence was thirteen, his father started teaching him the basics of silversmithing. Stamped copper buttons were some of his first products. Within the next year or two, Saufkie was selling jewelry of his own creation at Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial and, by age twenty, he would have his own booth. Once married in 1953, Saufkie turned to silverwork as a full-time occupation. He then joined the Hopi Silvercraft Cooperative Guild and started using his trademark of a bear shortly thereafter. He left the guild a few years later, stating, in 1975, that he preferred to work for himself with the ability to sell his jewelry where he chose.

Saufkie started winning awards as early as 1958. He exhibited at his first Indian Market in 1962, and his reputation grew as he began winning top honors at southwest shows in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By 1975 he was having difficulty keeping up with the demand for his work." [Messier, 2014:126]

Lawrence Saufkie (1935-2011) was the grandson of Andrew Hermaquaftewa and Ella Quaventhka; son of Paul Saufkie Sr. and Ruby Saufkie; brother of Andrew Saufkie, Paul Saufkie, Jr., Vaughn Saufkie; husband of Griselda Saufkie; father of Wilmer Saufkie Lomayaoma; uncle of Bob Sekakuku. Lawrence learned from his father Paul Saufkie Sr. Lawrence collaborated sometime with his wife Griselda. 


- Messier, Pat & Kim Messier, Reassessing Hallmarks of Native Southwest Jewelry, 2014

- Schaaf, Gregory. American Indian Jewelry I, 1,200 Artist Biographies. 2003 

TAGS: Hopi PuebloRuby Saufkie, Southwest Indian Jewelry