My name is Steven Toya Sr. and I am from Zia Pueblo, NM. The lineage in our family is mixed; Zia, Jemez and Pecos Pueblos and from the Hopi and Comanche Tribes. The late Simon Toya, my father taught me reverence for the Drum and instilled in me the importance of carrying on our culture and traditions. I was part of a family dance group, I have six siblings; growing up in Arizona, we performed on weekends, holidays and special occasions. Today, I am the father of six children and seven grandchildren and follow in my father’s footsteps. Traditionally, I am very active and participate in our village and uphold my responsibilities with love, respect and dedication to honor and pay homage to our ancestors and those yet to come.
The artwork presented here is The Warrior Set. Every Warrior must have these essential weapons in their arsenal; the shield, bow and arrow, quiver, spear and club to confidently go into battle. Each piece is hand-made and crafted from oak wood, cow hide, bone and buckskin leather.
“My artwork here is an expression of the ‘old days’. The pieces are utilitarian and are made to be used; the style if the artwork is realistic as the weapons of our ancestors. When I look at old pictures, it is as if I have been there, in that time and space. This form of artwork brings me closer to a time that would have been good to live in. I thank those who use my art in their ceremonies and as part of their regalia.”