Leo Poblano was born about 1905 at Zuni Pueblo. Active as a jeweler between 1919-1959, he had an exceptional talent for inlay jewelry.
Poblano enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. Upon his return, he served as a firefighter at Zuni pueblo in addition to working as an artist. When electricity came to his pueblo in 1950, he set aside his hand grinder in favor of an electric grinder. Once Poblano completed the stonework, Zuni trader C. G. Wallace would have a silversmith mount the stones. Leo Poblano died in a tragic accident in 1959. While performing his duty as a firefighter, a burning tree fell on him.
Noted for his large inlay figures, many of Poblano’s masterpieces were preserved by C. G. Wallace. His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Heard Museum and other prestigious institutions. His daughter, Victoria Poblano, is an innovative, award-winning jeweler.