Zuni Pueblo Channel Inlay Sun Face Jewelry Earrings

C4357A-earrings.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Earrings
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: silver, turquoise, jet, coral and mother-of-pearl
  • Size: ⅝” x ⅝”; for pierced ears
  • Item # C4357A
  • Price: $295.00

Small, carefully cut pieces of turquoise, coral, jet and mother-of-pearl have been expertly placed within narrow channels of silver to create these delightful Zuni Pueblo Sun Face earrings. A traditional Zuni design, this Sun Face consists of teardrop shaped segments of jet radiating from a mother-of-pearl and coral face with dainty bits of turquoise adorning the sides. Black jet eyes and mouth are set within the white mother-of-pearl. 

The Sun Face is an important symbol for the Zuni as it represents the sun—the giver of all life. Traditionally, the Zuni have been an agricultural people and knowledge of the sun and its movements are of utmost importance. The successful cultivation of crops depended on the careful observation of the sun.  The sun is revered by the Zuni people for bringing prosperity and joy to families. The Sun Face was one of the first designs incorporated into Zuni multi-stone jewelry. 

Traditionally, the Zuni have been expert stone cutters and these earrings are a wonderful example of the skill and talent of one of many unknown Zuni lapidary artists. In the June, 1950 issue of El Palacio (Magazine of the Museum of New Mexico Vol. 57, No. 6) author David Neumann, a trader in Southwestern handicrafts characterizes Zuni jewelry. “The Zunis were, and remain, essentially lapidaries, not silversmiths. Their lapidary skill is not a modern art, like the silversmithing of the Navahos. Their stone-cutting experience is pre-Spanish, that is to say, prehistoric. They were workers in turquoise, jet and shell centuries before the first Navaho effort with metal. This lapidary work involved the use of no metal to display the stone or shell. The turquoise was set as inserts, or mosaic, in stone…”

Made during the 1950s or 1960s, these earrings are unsigned. 


Condition: The Zuni Pueblo Channel Inlay Sun Face Jewelry Earrings are in excellent condition. The stones are all intact. 

Provenance: From an Albuquerque Collection

Recommended Reading:  El Palacio, June, 1950 (Magazine of the Museum of New Mexico Vol. 57, No. 6) author David Neumann

Relative Links: Zuni PuebloDinéearringsSouthwest Indian Jewelry


Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Earrings
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: silver, turquoise, jet, coral and mother-of-pearl
  • Size: ⅝” x ⅝”; for pierced ears
  • Item # C4357A
  • Price: $295.00

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