Rita Gurley – Navajo

Published on August 12, 2014 by Carol

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Navajo Weaving

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 family.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.

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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 navajo rugs.


  • 1998 New Mexico State Fair 1st place
  • 1997 New Mexico State Fair 1st place


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