Bennie Wilson Jr. is a full blood Navajo, born in Gallup, NM. He was raised in Crystal, NM on the Navajo Nation by his grandmother and uncles. Bennie’s clans are Red Running Water people and born for the Red Streak people. His maternal grandfather’s clan is the Bitter Water Clan and his paternal grandfather’s clan is the Tangle people Clan. Bennie was raised very traditionally. His childhood was spent doing farm work, herding sheep, horses, and cattle. Taking care of his family’s livestock was a part of everyday life and he didn’t have a normal childhood.
Bennie did not speak any English until he was sent to boarding school in 1986 at the age of five. Bennie attended the Crystal Boarding School and Chuska Boarding School until 8th grade. He then attended Navajo Pine High School and graduated in 2001. Bennie went on to attend the Tulsa Job Corps Center in Tulsa, OK in 2004. He graduated from Tulsa Job Corps Center in 2005. From 2006-2007 Bennie went back to school at Moraine Park Technical College.
Bennie started learning to carve wooden Hopi Kachina’s 2012. From his wood carving he learned to carve Native American traditional Pow-wow dancers. He then expanded his talent to carve Native American Warriors.
Bennie began painting in 2015.