My name is Cheryl Marie Yestewa, I am Hopi and Navajo. I was born on the Hopi Reservation at Keams Canyon, Arizona in May 1958. My father, Carroll Yestewa was from the Villages of Kykotsmovi and Old Oraibi in northern Arizona. He was best known to carve the happy watermelon eating clown Kachinas, in his earlier years he also worked with watercolors, ink drawing and silversmithing. My mother, Mabel Begay is from Lower Greasewood south of Ganado, Arizona. My parents were sweethearts and married soon after school.
My fondest childhood memories are of living with my grandparents and great-grandparents. I can still remember following my great-grandfather around our fields out at Hopi, planting and hoeing the corn, squash, beans, melons, playing and just generally having a great time. We moved to Phoenix, Arizona where I grew up. As a child I always had an interest in pretty rocks and plain ones too! I remember one family vacation when I dragged my mother out in the drizzling rain in eastern Wyoming to go rock hounding for some Sweetwater agate, so my passion started when I was young. I met my husband and started to work with silver and gemstones.
I have always tried to let the stones be the center, just enhance never overpower, bring out the beauty of the stone. I use the best materials available, always natural and untreated. My sense of design and execution is of course from a woman’s perspective; I strive for simplicity, elegance, and timeless style. My greatest joy is when customers tell me how wonderful the jewelry feels to wear on their body.
I am honored to have a necklace in the National Museum of the American Indian Collection and the Heard Museum has two of my necklaces in their permanent collection.
In the past I have attended or participated in the Gallup Ceremonial, Santa Fe Indian Market, Heard Museum Show, Arizona State Fair, New Mexico State Fair, Museum of Northern Arizona Hopi Show, and many Private Gallery Exhibitions. I have received awards from all.
Cheryl is now Featured Artist in “Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry” by Diana Pardue w/ The Heard Museum.