Charlie Willeto was born in the eastern region of Navajo Country in New Mexico. He was a sheep and goat herder and a medicine man. He carved figured of Navajo men and women, owls and half fanciful animal figures. He was the first to break the Navajo traditions and taboos around carving. His work gained fame when it traveled with an exhibition of works from the Hemphill Collection. These pieces are now in the National Museum of American Art.