Fred Peshlakai, Diné Jeweler

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Artist Hallmark Signature - Fred Peshlakai, Diné ArtistDiné artist Fred Peshlaki was a jeweler. He had apprenticed under his silversmith father before leaving the Navajo Reservation for California.

Navajo Nation artists Frank Peshlakai and Fred Peshlakai were brothers who lived in El Monte, California.  Frank would sometimes assist his brother Fred at his store on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. 

Fred Peshlaki (1896-1974) was the nephew of Peshlakai Atsidi (Slender Maker of Silver).  As a young man, he left the reservation to pursue different jobs, from cowboy to movie actor and into wax works, finally returning to silversmithing. 

“For 35 years, Fred owned an Indian jewelry shop on Olivera Street in Los Angeles.  He worked as a motion picture actor in several films.  In September 1974, he moved back to the Navajo Reservation in poor health, and lived with his daughter, Dorothy Rose, at Many Farms, Arizona.  In November, he was hospitalized and died shortly before Christmas.  He was buried in the Chinle Cemetery.” [Schaaf, 2013:131]

Reference: American Indian Jewelry III: M-Z, 2,100 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

Relative Links: Diné - NavajoSouthwest Indian JewelryFrank Peshlakai