About the Artist

Originally from Oklahoma, jewelry artist Lisa LeFlore is a member of the Fort Sill-Chiricahua-Warm Springs Apache Tribe.  She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College.  There, she spent time learning to master traditional silversmith techniques as well as working as a teaching-assistant in Dartmouth’s Claflin Jewelry Studio. LeFlore later moved to New Mexico to attend law school, studying Indian Law and Intellectual Property.  After receiving her Juris Doctor in 2006, LeFlore continued making jewelry and is currently devoted to one-of-a-kind design and the creation of wearable art.

Influenced by family narratives and Tribal history, a conceptual framework emerged to manifest LeFlore’s works as a visual dialogue with that cultural heritage.  Many of her wearable artworks revolve around the idea of containment, which is explored by using organic shapes and materials in juxtaposition with industrial construction.  She uses her own unique cultural sense of form and detail to achieve intense energy in the design and execution of her projects. 

About the Tribal History

LeFlore is the great-granddaughter of Sam and Blossom Haozous, and a descendant of Mangas Coloradas.  Her inspirational grandmother, Ruey Haozous Darrow, earned a Master of Science Degree in Microbiology.  She also served many years as Tribal Chairman and LeFlore loved learning from and traveling with her.

The Chiricahua Apache Tribe's original homelands included large portions of land throughout southern New Mexico and Arizona.  However, in 1886, the United States Government imprisoned the entire Tribe and removed the Tribe's members, as prisoners of war, to various military facilities in Florida, Alabama and ultimately to Fort Sill, in Oklahoma.

Some of the Chiricahua Apache prisoners, including LeFlore's great-grandparents, were released in 1914 to farmlands in Oklahoma.  The Tribe is now known as the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma. It has a Tribal office in Oklahoma, as well as a small reservation located near Deming, New Mexico.