Rita Gurley is a full blooded Native American Indian.
She was born into the Navajo Nation in 1950.
She grew up in Houck, A.Z. in the reservation. At the age of 21 she
married Joseph Gurley and decided to move away and begin her new life.
She was taught to make artifacts from several different members of her
The lucrative aspect of the business also was a key role in her inspiration
to learn to craft art. She has been making artifacts since 1989.
Rita specializes in hand making contemporary replications of ancient
artifacts that were useful tools and were essential to the lifestlye
of her ancestors, which consist of bow & arrows, ceremonial rattles,
tomahawks, spears, and pipes.
Rita uses many different materials on her art like: leather, rawhide,
wooden beads, turkey feathers, antler bones, authentic horse hair, metal,
and seed beads.
With all these raw materials, Rita uses her artistic imagination and
makes some of the most interesting traditional artifacts from an unforgotten
legacy. Rita really enjoys her God given talent.
She says it 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
-1998 New Mexico State Fair 1st place
-1997 New Mexico State Fair 1st place
-1996 New Mexico State Fair 1st place