Duane Maktima

Duane Maktima is a contemporary jewelry designer of Laguna and Hopi descent. According to Duane’s grandfather, the name Maktima means “searching for eagles.” Duane’s creations truly live up to his family name, reflecting his search for creative expression, grace and form.

Maktima’s designs reflect his personal beliefs about the forward movement of Native Americans from the past into the future. Although traditional values and myths of Southwestern Pueblo Peoples have influenced Duane’s style, other nuances are evident. Duane says, “Strong influences inmy work include Southwest Deco design, and because I am part of a broader picture, Scandinavian design.”

As a designer, Maktima uses color and form to reiterate prehistoric Native American symbols he has uncovered through extensive research. Influenced thus by prehistory, Maktima’s innovative jewelry designs win awards consistently.With designs that are simple and clean, Duane uses lapis, opal, coral, fossilized ivory, lavulite, green and blue turquoise, shells and wood, among others to create geometric patterns with vibrant color in his work. A distinctive characteristic of Maktima’s jewelry is its sculptural quality, created by a hollow-form technique combined with reticulated metal used as a decorative overlay. He combines metals, leaving channels into which he inlays his stones, each separated by a thin band of gold which enhances the color.

Duane’s life path has been greatly influenced by many forces, his grandfather, father, Native American prehistory, European design concepts, among manymore. His grandfather stressed the importance of a good education for his children and grandchildren, believing it to be the only answer to success and personal achievement for Native Americans in the 20th Century. Duane’s father graduated from college and became a professional with the National Forest Service due to this influence. Duane, himself entered Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with the intention of becoming a forester. However, because of overcrowding in the forestry field, he enrolled in the general arts program and soon discovered a latent, unfolding talent for art and design.

In 1975, Maktima left general studies to accept a two year artist internship at the Museum of Northern Arizona Art Institute, enabling him to continue development of his silversmithing techniques. A year later he won a blue ribbon at the prestigious Indian Market in Santa Fe. This was the first of many national awards to come. When the internship ended, Duane went to live with his extended family at Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, where he continued his jewelry work and became enmeshed in pueblo life. After some years, Duane made the decision to return to Northern Arizona University where he concentrated on research of Native American jewelry from prehistoric time to the present.He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in metalsmithing. Upon receipt of his degree, he was awarded a fellowship by the Southwestern Association of Indian Affairs. This allowed him to continue his creative work and served as an impetus for his move to Santa Fe.

Duane and his family live in a rural setting a few miles outside of Santa Fe. With his studio attached to the house, Maktima is within easy access to the mountains and forests of Pecos Wilderness. Duane explains his dedication to artistic design: “My grandfather always said that from sunup to sundown, you should be doing something of value, and now I feel that I am.”

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