Native American Indian Jewelry and Traditions: Part II

Native American Jewelry use

 

Southwestern Native American tribal jewelry is synonymous with quality – and rightfully so.

We have several great pieces to choose from at Tribal Muse @ http://www.tribalmuse.com

Navajo Jewelry – Southwestern Treasure

Perhaps the most celebrated of all Native American Jewelry is that of the Navajo tribe, with its boldly inscribed silverwork and generously-proportioned nuggets of locally-mined Turquoise. These wonderful pieces are often of impressive size, with large pendants hanging from one or more beaded strands.

The Navajo are masters of the Concha and the beautiful Squash Blossom Necklace with its inverted-crescent Naja pendant suspended from a chain rimmed with squash flower buds.                                                                       PicMonkey Collage

Precision Among the Santo Domingo Native Americans

The notable Santo Domingo (or Kewa Pueblo) Jewelry is famous for its tiny, precisely made shell-beads called heishi (today the term heishi describes similar beads of any material).

Kewa Pueblo heishi is distinguished by its smooth feel when you run it through the fingers. This is because Pueblo carvers buff the outside surfaces of each bead against a turning wheel, shaving away any barbs or irregularities until only a smooth surface remains. Some say that today’s Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domino) Indian Jewelry is the most refined of all the Native American Tribal Jewelry traditions.

The Zuni Bring Needlepoint to Jewelry

Zuni Needlepoint

Meticulously made Zuni Jewelry contains small lozenge-shaped beads arranged in delicate-looking designs, sometimes called “needlepoint.” Silver usually plays a secondary role, since the Zuni prefer working with stone or shell to create patterns that mimic those found in nature.

Zuni jewelry is relatively light-weight and painstakingly crafted. The Zuni also produce hand-carved stone animal fetishes and superb channel inlay jewelry.

Elusive Beauty – Hopi Jewelry

Although the Hopi are among the oldest makers of Native American tribal jewelry in Northern America, they are comparative newcomers to the contemporary Indian tribal jewelry market. Recognized for their precise overlay technique, Hopi jewelry is handcrafted by fusing 2 pieces of silver together so that a cut-out design appears in contrasted relief. Their jewelry is often difficult to find since fewer pieces are made.

Watch Out for Imitations

Since 1999, it is illegal in the USA to claim that a piece of jewelry is Native American Indian Southwestern JewelryJewelry when it is not. That is why all the Native American Tribal Jewelry pieces on Tribal Muse are certified. Similar-looking pieces that are not so certified are identified as “Southwestern Jewelry” in their descriptions, and not as Native American Indian Jewelry.

Thinking About Native American Jewelry?

I would love to know your experiences with Native American tribal jewelry and my blog. Share a comment or send an email anytime.

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Andrea @ Tribal Muse http://www.tribalmuse.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turquoise for Your Thoughts? : History of Native American Turquoise Jewelry

native_american_jewelryTurquoise is one of the most prevalent stones used in Native American jewelry. Dating back to thousands of years ago, Native American tribes mined turquoise stones as they believed that it was a sacred stone. They designed masks and other accessories to decorate themselves with this amazing stone. In the 19th century, Spaniards taught Navajo American Indians to construct the turquoise and silver jewelry that remains their trademark today.

The color of turquoise, to the Navajo tribe, symbolized luck, happiness and health. These qualities led to the use of turquoise in many different aspects of Native American life for attracting luck and good fortune. Simple beads dating from around 7,000 BCE are among the first forms of jewelry found in the archaeological record from any Native American tribe. Originally, these beads were made out of shells or rocks. Over time, colorful stones and ornate construction gained favor, especially for tribal celebrations. Even during combat, Native American warriors wore impressive jewelry to show their superiority to the other tribes.

If you are looking to purchase certified Native American Indian Jewelry in Turquoise and Silver, visit us at TribalMuse.com. Our Jewelry was handcrafted by Navajo, Santo Domingo, and Zuni silversmiths. The artisan’s Hallmark (stylized signature) is on each piece. You might like our Southwestern Jewelry too.