The history of the ketoh goes back to Navajo archers and the bands they wore to protect their forearms from the snap of their bowstrings. These stiff leather guards were eventually embellished by Navajo silversmiths with conchos, silver buttons and turquoise stones. They ceased to be functional archery gear and instead became worn as decorative jewelry. Old ketohs are highly sought after by collectors.
Charley, Navajo Scout under Lieutenant Guilfoyle or Lieutenant Wright: Photograph by Ben Wittick. Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), Negative no. 015933
Ketohs from the Millicent Roger's Museum, Taos, NM
Stereoview Wheeler Expedition 1873, O'Sullivan Navajo Indian Fort Defiance NM
Today, ketohs are considered to be classic silverwork staples of the Dine People. Double D Ranch has teamed up Peyote Bird of Santa Fe to bring some of the best American artisans and best contemporary examples of ketohs to market. Our ketohs are scaled down to complement a woman's wrist and still leave room for bangle and cuff stacking. As they say,