This Navajo jewelry was worn for beauty and pride- the wearing of a crescent or cross did not necessarily symbolize a respect for Christianity or the Moorish influence on Spain. What began with simple rawhide and pedants, later gave way to stone, shell, silver and other metal beads and intricate ornaments.
Navajo metalsmiths make buckles, bridles, buttons, rings, canteens, hollow beads, earrings, crescent-shaped pendants (called “najas”), bracelets, crosses, powder chargers, tobacco canteens, and disks, known as “conchas” or conchos” – typically used to decorate belts – made from copper, steel, iron, and most commonly, …
Defining Styles of Navajo Jewelry
Navajo jewelry is known for large turquoise stones and big, heavy silver. Navajo artists do also incorporate inlay or cluster style stones, although they tend to use heavier silver than other Southwestern tribes like the Hopi or Zuni.
The men wore breechcloths and the women skirts. Their shoes were soft leather moccasins. Later, they wore clothes woven from the wool of sheep. The Navajo are known for their woven rugs and blankets.
Which tribes are known for their beautiful jewelry?
The Zuni tribe has crafted gorgeous, fascinating jewelry for over 1,000 years. They are most famous for their intricate stone work, with animal-themed fetishes being the most widespread.
Why did Native Americans make jewelry?
Traditionally, Native Americans used jewelry to showcase their rank, their history, and their individuality. … Jewelry also had an important role in trade between tribes, as styles and designs varied between the different nations.
What does turquoise jewelry mean?
Photo ©2020 EraGem Jewelry. Turquoise, the captivating sea-green stone of the ancients, represents wisdom, tranquility, protection, good fortune, and hope. Ancient peoples believed in its profound power to protect, as well as its tranquil energy and its association with enduring love.
Where does turquoise jewelry come from?
“The most common places known for good quality turquoise are Iran (Persia), Egypt, Northwest China, Mexico and the southwestern part of the United States. Although there can be mines found in many states, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada are the most common places where you will find them.
The commonly design jewelry around a stone’s natural shape. When Navajo do inlay, it is bolder than Zuni inlay and usually has silver between the inlaid pieces (called “channel inlay”). Their inlay tends to be more complex than Navajo, with more cuts and patterns. … Most snake designs are done by the Zuni.
Navajo Sterling Silver Jewelry Characteristics
Navajo Indian jewelry is often characterized by chunky stones set in simple sterling silver bezels. … Some artists use oxidized silver to accent a design by amplifying depth while others brush their pieces to give them a vintage look.
The Navajo woman’s traditional style of dress consists usually of foot or knee-high moccasins, a pleated velvet or cotton skirt, a matching long-sleeve blouse, concho and/or sash belt, jewelry and a shawl. Men also wear jewelry, moccasins and preferably a velveteen shirt.
Traditionally, most rites were primarily for curing physical and mental illness. In other ceremonies there were simply prayers or songs, and dry paintings might be made of pollen and flower petals. In some cases there were public dances and exhibitions at which hundreds or thousands of Navajo gathered.
The Diné believe there are two classes of beings: the Earth People and the Holy People. The Holy People are believed to have the power to aid or harm the Earth People. Since Earth People of the Diné are an integral part of the universe, they must do everything they can to maintain harmony or balance on Mother Earth.
Why is Native American jewelry expensive?
AGE/ERA: Items that are pre-1960s fetch a premium over contemporary jewelry because they were made in smaller quantities. Mass production in factories and workshops began in the 1970s, when Indian jewelry became very popular. CONDITION: As with anything, items that are in good condition are worth more.
What does a turquoise ring mean?
Rings have had a mystical and symbolic meaning throughout history and many different cultures. The circular shape has represented the cycle of life and eternal love. Giving turquoise rings as a gift is thought to bestow good fortune and prosperity. …