Leo Poblano (1905-1959)

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Leo Poblano (1905-1959) was a master at the technique of mosaic inlay work. His friendship with Zuni trader C. G. Wallace was instrumental in his getting the finest turquoise and other stones for his work. After World War II, Poblano returned to Zuni Pueblo and served as a firefighter. It was a tragic fire that took his life in 1959 when a burning tree fell on him.

Leo Poblano devoted his whole time to stonecutting, which he mastered by the 1930s. Wallace then would assign the stone pieces created by Poblano to a silversmith, usually a Navajo, who would then set the stones in silver box tops, bookends, desk furnishings, finger rings, pendants, brooches, bolas, or other adornments.


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