Southwest Indian Jewelry: Earrings

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The indigenous tribes of the Southwest have a rich and storied tradition of crafting exquisite jewelry, a practice that dates back to prehistoric times. Utilizing materials readily available in their environment, such as shells and stones, they created pieces that were not only visually appealing but also deeply symbolic.

With the advent of the Spanish in the region, the Southwestern tribes were introduced to silver, a material they quickly adopted and incorporated into their jewelry-making repertoire. This fusion of materials is a testament to their adaptability and their openness to infusing new elements into their traditional practices.

Today, the gallery proudly showcases a diverse collection of these authentic, hand-crafted Native American jewelry pieces. Among the items on display are necklaces from Kewa (also known as Santo Domingo Pueblo), meticulously crafted from shell and stone. The collection also features the renowned Zuni turquoise cluster work, a testament to the tribe's exceptional skill and creativity.

In addition, the gallery houses an array of silver cuffs and earrings from the Navajo tribe, each piece reflecting the tribe's unique aesthetic and craftsmanship. It's noteworthy that the majority of these jewelry pieces were crafted in the period following the Second World War, a time of significant cultural and artistic development among the Southwestern tribes.

This collection serves as a tangible link to the past, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Southwestern tribes and their enduring legacy in the realm of jewelry-making. It stands as a testament to their artistic prowess, their deep connection with the natural world, and their ability to adapt and evolve over time.

TAGS: Kewa (Santo Domingo Pueblo), Zuni Navajo