We are always reading about the authentic jewels of Native Americans and mostly the Navajo. We have a lovely collection of books on this very subject. I enjoy the picture books most I have to say.
(Picture from Ray Manley’s Portraits & Turquoise of Southwest Indians)
The squash blossom necklace is ubiquitous of the Navajos jewelry design. Its large center piece is known as a Naja. It is a crescent shape and has roots to as deep as the Paleolithic period.
"called the 'Naja' by the Navajo, it is found in various design forms throughout the world cultures. As a crescent, this form goes back as far as the Paleolithic period."
It originally was used by the Spanish Moors as adornment on the browband of their horses and is believed to be a good luck charm and ward off the evil eye.
It is said that it was passed on to Mexican craftsmen from which the Navajo people picked it up and made it their own. It is also said that the Navajos stamp work was inspired by the leather stamp work found in Spanish crafts south of the border.
The Navajo being known as jewelry makers has much to do with the times of the railroad and a business man named Fred Harvey. He had a hotel along the railroad in the Wild West and he had specific designs made that would make good purchases and easy sales for Europeans traveling by way of the rails to explore the New World. This marketing and over saturation made that specific part of the region well known for their craft and more widely then they may have been otherwise.
With the squash blossom necklace being such a star represention of these native jewelry makers, as collectors we are beyond thrilled to add these incredible works of art to our collection.
Available for purchase please inquire via email.