Robert Chee is a Navajo from the famous Manuelito Trading Post, New Mexico area where much of the finest Navajo rug weaving is done. And now most of the weavers have passed on, and it is rare to see the next generation weaving. Robert specializes in traditional jewelry, and he excels in silver casting and stamp work.
Robert’s father worked for the trading post as a silversmith, the old Mike Kirk Trading Post. He has fond memories of growing up there, lots of hiking in the mountains, arroyos, and they would also ride horses.
He is related to famous Navajo jeweler Harry Morgan, his first cousin, with whom he apprenticed under. They grew up together living under the same roof, and in the early days they lived in a hogan. Their mothers were sisters. The Navajo are a matriarchal society, and he had a strong upbringing in the traditional ways especially due to having 2 mothers.
He was born in 1952 at home. There were 10 children in the family, and Robert was Number 9! Two of his siblings have now passed on. He has two children of his own, but they are not interested in silversmithing. In his spare time, Robert enjoys works around the house, old cars, and spending time with his grandchildren.