History of Navajo Jewelry-making, Episode 3

History of Navajo Jewelry-making, Episode 3

Episode 3: The meaning behind traditional stones and shells
with Zeke Argeanas
  • Introduction in Navajo, including his names, clans, place or origin; and what inspires him. 
  • Explain the meaning and cultural significance of sacred stones/shells including the ceremonial uses.
  • Styles and meaning behind old-style/traditional jewelry items. Show old photos and drawings of different styles worn by ancestors and explain their meanings.
  • Differences in the jewelry of today. How newer styles, tools, resources, and materials changed modern jewelry.


Zeke Naabaahii Argeanas is a member of the Navajo Nation who is of the Towering House, Mexican People, Red Running into the Water Giant People, and One Who Walks Around clans. His roots originate from Chinle Arizona, the heart of the Navajo Nation. Zeke is a bead maker who dedicates his work to honor the ancestors by practicing traditional techniques and is inspired by medicine people of the past and elders, as well as traditional stories.


Zeke is currently a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, studying museum studies and studio art. Sandpainting, metalwork, digital art, and photography are other arts that Zeke creates. He enjoys carrying on traditional activities, supporting the community, as well as supporting Diné youth with connecting to their culture.


Special thanks to
Zeke Argeanas
Fidelity Investments
New Mexico Humanities Council
National Endowment for the Humanities

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