Veltenia Haley is a fifth generation silversmith. She is the daughter of Ruby Haley, who is a famous artist for making Navajo Pearl necklaces. Ruby’s grandmother, Annie Bahe Begay, taught Ruby the art of bead making when she was only six years old. Her siblings, Ben and Victoria, are also very accomplished silversmiths. Her younger cousin, Preston, has also been learning silversmithing over the last few years. Ruby’s grandaughters, Faith and Alliyah, are the sixth generation to continue this art.
The Haley family use very traditional methods for crafting their silver bead necklaces. After dapping them (making them curved), they grind the silver beads on a rock and string them on a binder wire. After stringing the beads, they use Borax to clean them and then sand all the edges. Once the necklace is completed, they use a polishing wheel to give each silver necklace its bright appearance.
After making their jewelry, the Haley family burns sage and prays over each piece. They pray that whoever wears their jewelry will be blessed, have good health, and happiness.
Veltenia now lives in New Mexico with her family. The Haley family are all kind people who are warm and loving to everyone they meet!