The earth home where Shonto Begay was born sat five miles southeast of the community of Shonto, Arizona. He was the fifth child of sixteen born to a Navajo medicine man. Shonto attended federal boarding schools all over the Navajo Indian Reservation in his elementary school years. He attended high school in Kayenta, Arizona; he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and received his Associate of Fine Arts degree, and later earned a degree from the California College of Arts & Crafts. He currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona where he maintains a studio, The Foot of Sacred Mountain Studio. He also maintains ties with his traditional birthplace in Shonto, Arizona, where he has a Hogan/studio.