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Leonard Willeto Portrait

Leonard Willeto

Born:
1955

Died:
1984

Active in:

  • Nageezi, New Mexico

Photo Caption:
Charlie Willeto and family, undated. Digital scan of a damaged Polaroid. Image is courtesy of the Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, 1990-1999, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Luce Artist Biography

Leonard Willeto was the son of well-known wood-carvers Charlie Willeto and Elizabeth Willeto Ignacio, and began carving in the 1970s. When he was sixteen years old he was run over by a pickup truck, was permanently disfigured and left school. Willeto carved no more than a hundred dolls before he committed suicide on August 2, 1984 (Chuck and Jan Rosenak, The People Speak: Navajo Folk Art, 1994).