Understanding and Appreciating Native American Jewelry

Native American culture has always shown an inclination towards using natural elements in a creative way. Their jewelry has historically been made with an array of materials. The handcrafted pieces still leave people in awe of their beauty and design.

Materials Used in the Process

Native American tribes would use anything which was available. Thus a lot of pieces were made with animal parts, such as bones, feathers, skin, even teeth.

The metal they used was most often the one which they could get a hold of. Typically and traditionally it would be silver. They would also use stones, gemstones, corals, and shells for embellishments.

While the most commonly used metal remains silver, the usual stone of choice has to be turquoise.

The Craft’s Tradition

Their tradition is a longstanding one which was taught generation by generation. It represents a unique approach to handcrafting materials and making amazing pieces. Native American jewelry has always had an unprecedented place in the world. They have gained their reputation upon creating elaborate and one of a kind pieces for thousands of years.

Location and Culture

Geographically speaking, the Southwest jewelry carries a legacy of its own. They incorporate semiprecious stones of high quality and their tradition lives on today. You can find amazing rings, pendants, necklaces which will take your breath away.

If you wish to purchase any of the pieces you can easily do so online. Find a shop which preserves the original and traditional design and beauty of Native American jewelry. Only in these cases, you will find the authentic artistry this jewelry carries in itself.

native american bracelets

Native American earrings are a masterpiece on their own. You can find pieces which are more subtle and dainty. However, there are also the flashier and more extravagant ones.

The Navajo

This tribe is famous for being the home to the first Native American silversmiths. They would usually combine the metal with floral embellishments or beads. Their style and design are usually bold. They would incorporate large gemstones in their pieces making it come to life.

They would also employ an array of colors and different cuts of gemstones to make the pieces more intricate and impressive.

The Hopi

The famous Hopi tribe were not remembered as silversmiths, per say. Yet, they left behind the legacy of beautifully incorporating turquoise in their jewelry.

In the past century, they would commonly combine different metals creating the so-called overlay style. The metals would have carvings which are a symbol of their unique style. This has come to be known as their distinct design. Apart from the carved metal, the jewelry usually does not incorporate any additional materials.

The Zuni

This tribe displays the most detailed work. They are very precise and also employ intricate carving methods. Apart from silver, they are known to use brass and copper.

Their jewelry carries symbolic meaning and has a purpose. Some pieces are considered lucky, some are used for protection, and some will give you strength and power. It is interesting to have pieces which such background stories and purposes.