Jake Livingston – Navajo-Zuni Silversmith

Jake Livingston Living History Video

This documentary film was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2013. It contains stories Jake Livingston of Sanders, Arizona, told the students during several hours of interviews about his life.

This documentary film is archived at the Navajo Nation Museum, Navajo Nation Library, Winona State University Library, and Diné College Library, and will be archived at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The film is part of the Navajo Oral History project, a multi-year collaboration between the Winona State University Mass Communication Department and Diné College – The official Tribal College of the Navajo Nation

Jake Livingston - Navajo-Zuni Silversmith

Photo by Tom Grier /Navajo Oral History Project.

Jake Livingston was born in 1945. He is of Navajo/Zuni descent, and grew up in Pine Haven New Mexico. He graduated from Window Rock High School and then joined the Marine Corp. in 1966.

He served in the Vietnam War and was wounded 3 times and spent 2 months in the hospital. After the war he served a  policeman before becoming a silversmith.

Jake Livingston in Workshop
Photo by Tom Grier /Navajo Oral History Project.

He learnt his skills from watching his father Jacob Haloo. Under his father’s tutelage and encouragement Jake became a master jeweler. He has been actively making jewelry since the early 1970’s and was named the Indian Arts & Crafts Association’s Artist of the Year in 1988. Jake Livingston draws inspiration from his Zuni Pueblo Heritage.

Jake Livingston stamp

His awards include numerous 1st place and Best of Division’s at the Santa Fe Indian Market. His work has been showcased in a number of books including the Jacka’s, Navajo Jewelry A Legacy of Silver and Stone.

Jake Livingston Interview

 Photo by Tom Grier /Navajo Oral History Project.

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