Sonwai: The Jewelry of Verma Nequatewa | Heard Museum

Sonwai: The Jewelry of Verma Nequatewa

Verma Nequatewa (Hopi, b. 1949) began an apprenticeship with her uncle Charles Loloma around 1966. Nequatewa has signed her distinctive work with the Hopi feminine word for beauty, Sonwai, since 1989. It complements her uncle’s name, which was the masculine word with the same meaning.

Nequatewa worked with her uncle for more than twenty years. In that time she not only learned specific jewelry-making techniques but she also learned to distinguish quality stones and to develop a keen design sense. Today, she is recognized as one of the leading Native American lapidary artists. Although her jewelry has been featured in the U.S. and internationally, this will be the first comprehensive exhibition of her work. This exhibit continues the Heard’s emphasis on sharing with our visitors the finest work in contemporary jewelry.


The Heard Museum is grateful to the following sponsors for their generous exhibition support:

Contributing Sponsor

Lovena Ohl Foundation

Signature Sponsor

Linda and Jerry Bruckheimer

Patron Sponsor

Judy and Ray Dewey