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Eddie "Two Moons" Chavez
CHIRICAHUA APACHE SILVERSMITH

Eddie brings the strength of his beliefs, his commitment to Apache values of respect and tradition, and a humble devotion to the gift entrusted with him by the Creator. In his hands, metals and stones are imbued with purpose.

Eddie is half-Apache from his mother, and grew up in Albuquerque, far from the Chiracahua tribe. In the early 1970's, he wandered farther, spiritually, from the Apache, when he did piecework for a local jewelry manufacturer. Working in plastic casts and copper, incorporating Apache symbols of life and religion, his own disrespect slowly ate away at his creativity and heart. Apache medicine man, Robert Eaglehawk, offered a path back to honor. Eddie had to quit the piecework and also stop using Apache symbols in his work for one life: 30 years. With this sacrifice, he could redeem himself.

This Eddie did, devoting himself to other work and to raising a family. When the time came, the passion and dedication building inside Eddie flowed from his heart through his veins and into his hands which held the metals and stones.

When Eddie was married, Robert Eaglehawk cut four pieces of skin from Eddie's arms to give back to the Creator. Robert said, "You can't give him money. He owns everything anyway. All you can give him is of yourself." The four pieces of skin were placed in the four sacred directions.

Eddie says, "My motivation comes from these events and my sincerity is based on my respect for the Apache tradition."

In 1982, Eddie was the first Native American graduate of the Gemological Institute of America. Now, over twenty years later, he was among the invited few to participate in the Native Nation Procession in 2004 for the ceremonial grand opening of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian in D.C.

What a wonderful, inspiring journey Eddie has taken. As a child, he really had no mentor, yet a talent burned inside him. Alone, he picked up jewelry tools and taught himself the skills to bring his visions to life in metal. But any craftsman will tell you that talent is not enough to sustain. Desire is not enough. Even determination and passion are not enough. These emotions are too fiery and combustible. An artist's creations are nurtured by the humblest of attitudes: vulnerability. A defenseless quest for truth about one's self and the world.

Eddie's name, Two Moons, represents the two worlds: the one we live in and the other the spiritual world. He says, "I live in the physical world, but my heart lives in the spiritual realm," where we believe our Creator and his expectations on how to live our life gift that he has given us.

"I rise and exit into a make-believe place, where I once again try to create balance. It is my purpose here." Eddie's jewelry resonates with spiritual commitment.