Apache Sterling Silver “Spirit Warrior” Mask Pin by Jan Loco [SOLD]


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Jan Loco, Apache Jeweler

Artist Signature of Jan Loco, Apache JewelerUsing her own unique method, Apache artist Jan Loco first cut the desired shape of this sterling silver pin using only hand tools.  On the round face of the warrior, the artist textured the surface to simulate the texture of the fabric worn over the face by such dancers.  On the broad fan above the head, she stamped symbols of various shapes—diamonds and Spider Woman crosses— and scored the tips of the three simulated wood frames of the tableta.  The result is a piece of very collectible jewelry. The piece is named on the back, “Spirit Warrior” and signed J. Loco.

Ancient Apache stories of the Mountain Spirits tell of their ability to cure and protect. The Mountain Spirits perform healing rites, as well as dancing at the girls' puberty ceremonies. The masked dance performances may be used to protect against illness and to heal the sick as well as influence the weather.

Jan Loco did not learn of her Warm Springs Apache heritage until she was an adult. She discovered her great-grandfather was Chief Loco, one of the last great Apache chiefs. Inspired by her heritage, she used traditional methods and motifs in her work. She began making jewelry in the 1980s. Jan Loco has not been producing jewelry lately.  She departed New Mexico some time ago and her whereabouts are unknown.

Condition: excellent condition 

Provenance: this Apache Sterling Silver "Spirit Warrior" Mask Pin by Jan Loco is from the collection of a Santa Fe resident

Recommended Reading: Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry by Diana Pardue

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Jan Loco, Apache Jeweler
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