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.
Double D Ranch is pleased to offer this vintage ketoh by Navajo silversmith, Wilson Begay. Dating to the ‘70s, the rectangular front panel is cast from 900 silver and measures about3-3/4" x 2-7/8". Three large turquoise stones are matrixed with dark veining and are set in sawtooth bezels at the center of the open fretwork. The leather strap is not original to the piece and it measures4" x 10."
Wilson Begay (Navajo). Active since 1960s. Cast work. He does the silver work and his wife does the lapidary and stone settings. The stamps are shared with his wife Carolyn Begay. Both worked for Tobe Turpwn’s Indian Trading Company in Gallup NM. Father of Nicole Begay and uncle of Aaron Anderson.
Marks: B; W B (under a hat)