Chuleewah, Toneh

Toneh Chuleewah is a metalsmith from Evening Shade, a Cherokee community in the southern part of the Cherokee Nation, near Vian, Oklahoma. He fashions jewelry from copper, silver, gold, brass, nickel, aluminum, and steel, both traditional and contemporary. “Though mainly a metalsmith, I also use other materials such as wood and natural gems as well.” He is a second generation jeweler, following in the footsteps of his father, Quannah Chuleewah of Pryor, Oklahoma. Toneh was born in 1959 and has been practicing his craft since the age of 14. In his current works he is concentrating on the revival of pre-Columbian copper work of the southeastern tribes of the US, which he has an appreciation for. “I feel passionate about playing a part in bringing southeastern design to the attention of the world.” His work can be seen at various art shows in eastern Oklahoma and purchased at the Spider Gallery and the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop in the Tahlequah area. Toneh has a BFA degree in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has also completed an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

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