Want to know about Native American crafts and Jewelry art? Read on to find out about the art of making jewelry as practiced by the Native Americans…
Native American tribes possessed a fairly skilled hand at making jewelry. Their jewelry is renowned for the use of natural components like turquoise and silver as well has symbolic conceptual designs. However each tribe had its own unique characteristic jewelry. Hopi, Navajo, Zuni and Pueblo jewelry has gained quite a reputation around the world.
Native American Jewelry Materials
While one is bound to find much diversity in Native American jewelry with respect to design, the Natives had a rather limited set of materials that they were fond of using. This included a short listed group of gemstones and materials most prominent amongst them being turquoise, gaspeite, silver and coral. Other prominent materials used in Native American jewelry include opal, Lapis and Spiny Oyster.
Popular Native American Jewelry Styles
Collectors of Native American jewelry have a wide variety of styles to choose from. Over the years certain specific styles have become particularly notable. Heishi jewelry developed by the Pueblo Indians tops the list as the most popular Native American jewelry style. Fetish necklaces produced by the Zuni tribes are also looked upon with great admiration. The symbolic significance of these necklaces to channelize the power of animal totems lends them mystique.
The Hopi Indians are credited with developing another one of the most popular Native American jewelry craft style which is known as the silver overlay style. The Navajo made their contribution with the Concho belts and the Squash Blossom necklaces which have been adopted by many different tribes. These traditional Native American jewelry styles continue to appeal to the modern masses even today.
Native American Jewelry Guide
The rich heritage of Jewelry making amongst /tdthe Native Americans is loaded with many different varieties. The Nez Perce of the Northwest for example were renowned for making use of abalone shells, antlers, olivella shells, teeth and bones for making their jewelry.
The southwest region on the other hand was rich with natural reserves of turquoise which gave the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi tribes the chance to become masters at working with this brilliant gemstone. The small cylinder shaped motifs known as Wampum were developed by the Iroquois of the Northeast Woodland tribes. Wampum was also used in the making of belts and currency. The tribes of the region are also renowned for being the first to pound copper into tubular beads and bracelets.
With the advent of the colonists the Native Americans got exposed to silver in great quantity. They quickly took to the metal and created some amazing jewelry using the metal in combination with their own set of traditional materials.
Navajo were the pioneers in making jewelry using silver. Squash blossom necklaces and Concho belts are amongst the most celebrated silver jewelry items from the region. Zuni on the other hand developed the renowned inlay style of silver jewelry. In essence Native American jewelry is renowned for its unique concepts and intricate design work which give it a timeless appeal.