Dennis Edaakie (1931-2008)

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Dennis Edaakie (1931-2008) hallmark signature.One of the most well-known and talented lapidary artists at Zuni was Dennis Edaakie. Edaakie was a self-taught jeweler who had no formal training other than just watching family members work. In 1962, after becoming frustrated with his boring nine-to-five job, he decided to try his hand at making jewelry. It was immediately clear that he had talent. In 1964 he made his first bird, a red cardinal,  for a local trader and they asked him if he could make more birds.

Looking at his work, it is easy to see why Dennis, who worked along with his wife Nancy, became one of the great masters of Zuni mosaic inlay. With miniscule pieces of multi-colored stone Edaakie painted pictures which he set in a finely crafted frames of gold or silver. With a palette of different shades of shell, and stone he painted intricate, lifelike images of nature.