Interested in buying Native American jewelry? Want to explore the kind of Native American jewelry available out there? Read on to get the info that you require…
Native American jewelry is known for its distinctive features and a rich cultural heritage that comes tagged with every Native American jewelry article. The Native Americans had a defined list of materials that included shells, beads, ivory, turquoise, amber, silver and copper to name a few.
With the advent of European colonization new materials were introduced and thus new techniques were developed as well. Advanced metal working and glass beads were amongst the new techniques developed during this period. In general these are the two main categories into which all Native American jewelry is divided.
Native American Jewelry Techniques
The earliest techniques used by the Native Americans were relatively simple. They made their jewelry items primarily out of etching and hammering. Copper was the most popular building material when it came to metal work. They would use these techniques to create pendants, necklaces and earrings. They also had the ability to fashion silver and copper into beads. Some of the most popular names in Native American Jewelry making are Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi.
Native American jewelry was influenced by Spanish silver smithing during the 1800’s. It was during this time period that some of the most popular Native American jewelry items were developed such as the squash blossom necklace, Navajo turquoise inlay rings and the Hopi silver overlay bracelets. These jewelry items were the result of traditional concepts being influenced by modern techniques.
Native American Beadwork Jewelry
The Native Americans had a rather complex mastery over beadwork even prior to the colonial invasion. They would make use of different techniques such as the fine grinding of coral, shell beads and turquoise to make heishi necklaces, soaking and piercing of porcupine quills, meticulously carving bone and wood beads as well as conducting intricate stitch work of thousands of beads.
With the passage of time some of these styles have died out whereas others have been maintained. Techniques like porcupine quillwork for example have almost been forgotten in modern times. However beadwork in all its other forms is still a thriving art form amongst Native Americans.
Contemporary Appeal of Native American Jewelry
Native American Jewelry has discovered new found glory in modern times. Those with a historical association with Native American Indians are not the only people searching for this kind of jewelry. Rather it has become more of a fashion craze amongst men and women looking for out of the norm jewelry.
This is the reason why you will be able to find tons of Native American Jewelry stores on the net. The kind of designs available today are a unique fusion of traditional native concepts with modern aesthetics and appeal. The result of this fusion is classy jewelry that has a strong appeal for the masses of the day. However, one needs to exercise a considerable amount of caution to ensure that the Native American jewelry you buy is in fact authentic.