Dextra was born to Rachel and Emerson Namingha at Polacca, Arizona on September 7, 1928. She is the great-granddaughter of Nampeyo of Hano and grew up surrounded by some of the finest Hopi potters of the time. Working with her mother, Dextra began producing pottery for the market in 1967.
Dextra has always liked to experiment with her forms and designs, working to make each of her creations unique in its own way. She is known for combining traditional elements with contemporary. Some of her designs came direct from her great-grandmother's creations in the late 1800's.
Dextra has also always placed great importance in working with clay using only the ancient traditional methods. She uses gourds to shape her pots, sandstone to smooth the surfaces and river pebbles to polish them. Some of her polishing stones have been passed down through the family for several generations.
Most of Dextra's inspiration comes from the designs of her great-grandmother and from pot shards she found while walking through the ruins of Sikyátki. Dextra taught her daughter, Hisi Quotskuyva Nampeyo, and two nephews, Steve Lucas and Les Namingha, the traditional Hopi-Tewa way to make pottery. All three have gone on to become award-winning potters.
Dextra was proclaimed an "Arizona Living Treasure" in 1995. In 1998 she received the first ever Arizona State Museum Lifetime Achievement Award. Among collectors of traditional Hopi pottery, Dextra is one of the best known of the descendants of Nampeyo of Hano.