Tradition and Innovation

Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird

Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson have been friends since childhood and have collaborated to design distinct pieces of jewelry for over 40 years. Their Pueblo and Navajo descent, respectively, informs their work, as do prehistoric petroglyphs and pictograph sites. They gravitate toward unusual stones and showcase their natural geological beauty. Always wearable and stylish, Bird and Johnson have firmly rooted themselves as leading Native American jewelers in today’s market. Presently, their work is in the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Museum in Scotland.

We see our jewelry as being very traditional in nature. But we carry the traditions further. The stones we use are of a wider variety than those usually associated with Indian jewelry. The symbols and narrative on our pieces are expansions of traditional symbols and stories.

Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson