Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 2, 2001 - Issue 37



Duane Maktima Returns to Hopi as Visiting Artist to Talahaftewa Creative Designs


by Debra Moon, Navajo-Hopi Observer

Duane Maktima was a visiting artist to the Talahaftewa Creative Designs third workshop for the "So’oh’s Tunatya", or "Grandmother's Dream" program at Second Mesa recently. He instructed hollow-form techniques to eight Hopi silversmiths, introducing some interesting new methods, tools and their uses to the students.

Charles Shuplee will also be giving a workshop on Sculptured Lost Wax Carving in June. These are opportunities for local Hopi Silversmiths to benefit at a low cost to themselves. "Grandmother's Dream" is a project at Talahaftewa Designs Studio which sponsors workshop courses on the Hopi Reservation for Hopi Silversmiths which improve the skill level, creativity and business practices of Hopi artists. The mission of So’oh’s Tunatya is to offer opportunities for Hopi Silversmiths to become inspired to promote creativity and the potential of the artist including the learning new silverworking techniques, good marketing practices, and effective pricing methods. The artists pay only 40% of the cost of the class, since the studio is supported through grants and donations. Hopi Artists interested in participating in upcoming classes should call the studio at 520.737.5417.

For Duane Maktima, the work in the Talahaftewa Studio is not new. He did something similar several years ago. He helped to start the Pueblo V Design Institute, which had a program very much like the Talahaftewa Studio workshops. Duane was present at the very first recruiting meeting for So’oh’s Tunatya and acted as an advisor as the program started up.

Besides being active in the education of young artists, Duane himself has been earning a living as an artist for over 25 years. He learned his skills from experience and feels he has "paid the dues" and can pass on what he's learned. Right now, he has his own studio in Glorieta, New Mexico. He had a gallery for a number of years, but prefers to work purely as an artist instead.

"I am a free spirit," he says, "I like creativity, and well, like other Native people, I value time, but not by the clock. We measure time by the seasons and nature."

"I like having my own time schedule, that's why I prefer the studio work to the gallery," he said.

Duane Maktima was born in Arizona. His grandfather, Guy Maktima, was Hopi. He has memories of playing and working alongside his grandfather as he grew up. When he was out of High school, he attended NAU and from there went on to Santa Fe, the center of Southwest Art.

"I was passionately involved with jewelry art then," Duane recalls, "it was an exciting time to be an artist in Santa Fe."

"I am proud that I grew up in the Hopi tradition. My grandfather, he's the one who said, 'the Creator gave us our hands, we have to use them'. He gave good advice, to him education was important. He told us to get educated and come back to help our people. My grandfather was 6 years old at the Oraibi split. He saw it happen first hand. He lived with that memory and the knowledge that someone could come in and just change your life like that - you never know when."

Duane did have an academic education in Art, and he is using it to help people now. He now works for Taos Pueblo Vocational Education as a mentor. "We're trying to bridge the generation gap," Duane says, "For me, it is my mission, or destiny."

"The conservatives, or traditionals," Duane continues, "regretted giving up a way of life. the question of how to regain that life is still with us. I'm trying to impart the idea of that quality of life, our Hopi values and ways, in a modern world. I have the best of all worlds, the Hopi culture, the Laguna ceremonies from my mother, and the ways of San Felipe from my wife."

According to Duane's philosophy, and this matches the philosophy of “So’oh’s Tunatya, to improve quality of life, we must share what we know. Duane remembers that some of the masters he tried to learn from would hardly teach or show him anything. Victor Masayesva, a partner at the Talahaftewa Studio, says that all the artists need is five minutes of his time, just a little attention and care to pass the knowledge on.

"I try to go beyond what is required," Duane explains, "You might as well share what you know, because you sure can't take it with you when you die, and, well, the people you share it with are the ones you'll be meeting on the other side, so ... it seems like a good idea. This is a good work, and I know Roy and Victor need help. This is a truly Hopi effort, and I'm proud to be a part of it. Nowhere have I felt so 'at home' working as a craftsman, as I do here at Hopi."

Background: So’oh’s Tunatya or "Grandmother's Dream"
This is a one-of-a-kind program on the Hopi Reservation. It is a local program offering on-going support and training to Hopi artists in which they may acquire skills and business know-how related to their field as silversmiths. It is special and unique in the aspect of fostering sharing and creativity. The artists’ fears and insecurities are addressed, and sharing and creativity are modeled by the instructors. So far, these concepts have been picked up on readily by the students, who do grow in creativity and willingly share what they know and what they are learning to help and support each other. This project has produced a true collaboration of silver artists at Hopi.

Currently, twenty-six active Hopi artists are enrolled in the workshop series. Workshops accommodate eight to ten artists per each class. The project provides affordable and needed instruction and support to artists on the Hopi Reservation, where they reside. This assists them to develop their career as artists and to provide more effectively for their families. It teaches them integrity in their artwork, pricing and marketing to raise the level of professionalism of their artwork endeavors.

This Project is directed by Victor Lee Masayesva, an innovative and creative younger artist himself, whose experience in marketing, shows and instruction are invaluable. Victor assists Roy, or other guest artists, during the workshops and he provides administrative leadership as Project Director, scheduling courses, networking with partners, and tracking expenditures. Victor is paid from resources other than the funds requested from the Arizona Commission on the Arts requested in this proposal. Victor's resume is attached.

The project is also overseen by Hopi Pu’tavi Project, Inc. , a non-profit organization located on Second Mesa. For the past two years, Hopi Pu’tavi has been funded and supported by Ox Fam America and the National 4-H Council. They have successfully managed summer programs for as many as 100 students, Artisan programs for 40-60 students, and Hopi Language programs on-going throughout the school years from 1999 to the present.

Quotes from Students:
"I have been very happy and grateful with this workshop. I have made a couple of pieces using Tufa Casting and combining it with overlay, and have seen a great change in what my jewelry looks like now. I have just begun to create using what I have learned in this workshop. My gratitude and appreciation goes out to Roy and Victor for the workshop." Ruben Saufkie, Sr.

"I would [now] like to establish my portfolio and gain more knowledge of marketing, pricing, and establishing clients." Art Honanie

"[The workshop] gave me new ideas on how to use this technique alongside my overlay technique. This is a very good program and will benefit all the people involved. I am willing to help out when I can. Keep up the good work." Edison Wadsworth Soofhafyah

"It was interesting ... This workshop gave me new ideas of what I would like to create in my jewelry. Also, I learned how to make tools, techniques on pouring melted silver, and self-confidence." Iva Casuse



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