Adopted by a University of California-Berkeley geology professor, Patrick Swazo Hinds grew up in California but maintained ties to his relatives through summer stays at Tesuque Pueblo, NM. He attended California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, where he earned a BA in 1952. After attending Mexico City College for a year, he went on to the Art Institute of Chicago. Swazo Hinds served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and received two Purple Hearts. In the 1950s, he returned to California Bay Area to start his art career and emerged as one of the first Southwest native artists to depart from the traditional style of Indian painting with abstract work, often making no reference to Native American themes. By the mid-1960s he began to include Pueblo cultural motifs and designs more frequently.