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Ketoh, Stamped, Turquoise, Buffalo Hallmark, Contemporary, 3597

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Originally worn to protect a warrior's wrist from the snap of a bowstring, the traditional ketoh or bow guard gets handsomely reinvented by Southwestern artist, Buffalo. The wide leather cuff is adorned with an intricately ornate stamped silver shield centered by a turquoise cabochon, and is embellished with repoussé accents. 

The silversmith known as “Buffalo” is included in a small group of contemporary artists that use traditional methods to design and fabricate their works. With almost 40 years of experience, he is considered a master of his craft.

Often reminiscent of vintage Navajo work, several of Buffalo’s pieces are displayed in various museums throughout the country. Buffalo is renowned for his classically designed “Ketos,” (pronounced Ke-toh), or bow guards. Bow Guards were traditionally worn by Native Americans to decoratively protect their inner arm from the arrow fletchings when loosing a bow. Buffalo’s rendition of this classic style incorporates true vintage saddle wear–vintage leathers and bolts–into the pieces, which serves to elevate his uniquely stamped bow guards and cuffs.

Buffalo is a renowned recluse with beginnings in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Buffalo now resides in Santa Fe, NM, where he continues to work day and night at his bench.

Art, in its many forms, has always been Buffalo’s focus in life:commercial illustrator, musician, hairdresser, silversmith. He prefersto use the old techniques of the early Navajo smiths, working almostexclusively in ingot. He finds that visions come to him, and “pour out ofhim,” constantly, day and night. He earned his nickname as a tall wild-haired young man in need of a haircut. He has recently settled down inSanta Fe, New Mexico, where he is happily making jewelry full-time.

  • artist: Buffalo
  • hallmarks: B
  • materials sterling silver, turquoise, leather
  • measurements: 9" long
  • shield: 2 3/4" x 1 7/8"
  • weight: 72 grams
  • contemporary
  • style: JB3597
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