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Juan Nakai

 (1926 - 1973)
Juan Nakai was active/lived in New Mexico, Arizona.  Juan Nakai is known for landscape painting, furniture building.

Biography   Juan Nakai


Juan Nakai was my uncle, my mother's brother. Juan and his siblings lived with their parents, Francis & Mary Ann Nakai in Red Valley, AZ, and later moved to Shiprock, NM. 

Besides being a painter, Juan was a carpenter. He made furniture and built a home in Shiprock.

I was about 12 years old when Juan died. From what I heard from family members, he was gravely injured and thrown into the San Juan River in Farmington, NM, where he lived at the time.

If you travel through the Shiprock town, stop and check out the Chat N Chew drive-in diner. Juan's painting still decorates the inside of that diner.


From Charlene Clyde, Shiprock NM, January 2017



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