Navajo Indian Jewelry Northern California

Researching on Navajo Indian Jewelry Northern California? Learn more about the different native jewelry styles like the Navajo Indian jewelry in Northern California...

Each American Indian tribe has different styles of jewelry to its credit. However, the differences are not very noticeable because the materials that were utilized, to create them, are very similar. These included the beads, ivory, shells, and Amber along with copper and silver. A verity of stones were used in constructing the jewelry as well. Turquoise was one such popular stone because of its healing properties. Indian jewelry was considered major items of trade before the arrival of the European settlers.

Integration and Advancement of Navajo Jewelry

Following the colonization the Navajo Indian jewelry in Northern California started changing gradually. The traditional elements, the original materials, were very strong and never replaced. Rather, they simply incorporated new materials like glass beads, and more modern metalworking techniques.

Categories of the Native American jewelry include two basic elements which are beadwork and metalwork. Prior to the arrival of the European colonists the metalwork was very simple, and included the hammering and etching on copper. For example: fashioning copper into pendants and earrings. Furthermore, silver and copper were shaped into beads. Following the traditional art of the Navajo, the other tribes like the Pueblo and Hopi had many artists learn the traditional silversmith trade from Spaniards in the 19th century. This led to the blossoming of metal jewelry art in the Southwest.

Interesting Pieces of Navajo Jewelry

One of the most unique pieces of native jewelry is known as the squash blossom necklace. The Navajo Indian turquoise inlay ring style is some of the most interesting and beautiful creations ever made. This was developed from the fusion of the traditional designs with new techniques. However, thanks to new techniques beadwork became exceptionally advanced in the native Indian jewelry creations. The coral, turquoise, and shell beads were grounded to smooth heishi necklaces. While wood and bone beads were carved with intricate designs. Another interesting fact was the use of  porcupine quills, pierced and soaked, along with intricately stitching a few thousand beads together made up most of the jewelry technique when it came to beadworking.

Navajo Jewelry Origins

The Navajo jewelry hails from the craft passed down to the local Indians by the Spanish explorers. It used the traditional methods and modern tools and techniques to produce jewelry that is indigenous to the Navajo Indians. As far back as the 1920s they had the global reputation for the amazing quality and uniqueness of adult jewelry. The pieces are still prized today and many people try and copy the finer details of the craftsmanship of the Navajo jeweler. However you can spot the difference immediately when the two jewelry pieces are compared physically.

The lifelong learning process starts out in the company of the tribal elders where the youngsters see how family members make perfect pieces. This is the initiation of the Navajo artisans into continuous learning and perfecting their craft. This way the skills are passed on to each generation. However, todays jewelry is being produced with a combination of both old and new innovative techniques. Including the utilization of silver and gold in todays beadworking has created some amazing new designs.

,