Evolution of Navajo Jewelry and its Significance for the Native Americans
Jewelry has played a significant part of Navajo culture and the people’s way of life since time immemorial. When the soldiers returned in the 18th century, the Native American people were able to get German silver items and coins from them, which they later melted down into certain articles and made them into jewelry pieces that we see today. The creation of silver jewelry dates to the mid-19th century and is said to be first learned by Navajo artists from Mexican smiths.
Stones were mined and also traded with a lot of tribes, which were living around where we today have a lot of turquoise mines – Nevada and South Arizona lands. Navajo jewelry had a lot of unique marks – mountains, sky, horses put by the silversmiths, which carried significant meanings and defined Navajo’s cultural identity. Navajo jewelry items usually have a cluster design, which is the most precious piece of joy to the Native Americans.
Navajo jewelry started gaining tremendous popularity in the 1940s. Back in those days, most of the jewelry work was made of sand-casts and rocks and melted silver. Silversmiths were working with bigger turquoise pieces and there was a significant expansion in marketing. From the 1960s to 1970s, Navajo jewelry pieces became smaller and were very much inspired by other tribes, especially the Zuni tribe from New Mexico.
With beautiful patterns, spiritual themes, and vibrant colors, Navajo jewelry pieces mark the very core of centuries-old Navajo heritage. If you are looking to incorporate the ethnic beauty of the alluring Navajo art in your wardrobe too, shop for the Native American Indian jewelry online from Navajo Artist.