Specializing in Native American Crafts Since 1916

Rita Gurley

Artist Profile

Rita Gurley was born into the Navajo Nation in 1950 and grew up in Huock, Arizona. At the age of 21 she married Joseph Gurley and decided to move away and begin her new life. Although she moved away from home, she took with her the knowledge of making artifacts which her family had taught her.

Rita specializes in hand making contemporary replications of ancient artifacts such as bow and arrows, ceremonial rattles, tomahawks, spears and pipes which were useful tools and were essential to the lifestyle of her ancestors. Rita uses leather, rawhide, wooden beads, turkey feathers, antler bones, authentic horse hair, metal and seed beads to make her creations. With all of these raw materials, Rita uses her artistic imagination and makes some of the most interesting traditional artifacts from an unforgotten legacy. Rita says her work soothes her mind and takes her back to a time when life was much more simple. Rita is related to Vernie Nez who also constructs artifacts and weaves Navajo rugs.

Recent Work by Rita Gurley

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