Zuni Pueblo Silver and Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace [SOLD]

C4612E-necklace.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: silver, turquoise
  • Size:
    21” end-to-end; 2” x 1-¾” naja
  • Item # C4612E
  • SOLD

This elegant and elaborate Zuni Pueblo squash blossom necklace is unique in its design in that the artisan added snake eyes turquoise on the blossoms and naja, with a few petit point turquoise throughout.  The necklace consists of double rows of handmade silver beads, ten blossoms attached to the beads, and a naja pendant at the bottom.

The squash blossom necklace is petit and lightweight, perfect for wearing.

It was first the Navajo who made squash blossom necklaces, then it was the Zuni artisans who began making them.  The influence for such necklaces goes back to the Spanish colonial and Mexican visitors to this area.  The blossoms were modeled after attachments to the vaquero visitors' trousers.  

Technically, the blossoms attached to the necklace were derived from the pomegranate! The area with the small turquoise cabs that looks like a blossom and the silver protrusions were copied from pomegranate blossoms seen on the trousers of the vaqueros (cowboys) from Spain and Mexico.  There were no pomegranates in New Mexico so the closest blossom with which the Navajo were familiar was squash.  Regardless of the name, these have been among the most popular Native American necklaces for decades, certainly as early as pre-World War II.  

The naja was influenced by adornments of the Spanish who outfitted their horses in elaborate silver ornaments—one of which was the naja that hung directly on the forehead of the horse as a part of the bridle.  The naja was originally an influence from the Moors.

Petit squash blossom necklaces are favored because they are lightweight and comfortable to wear.  The small handmade silver beads appear to be the style from the late twentieth century.

This necklace is in our current Special Exhibit: Squash Blossom Necklaces. In this Special Exhibit we feature a wide selection of authentic, hand-crafted Native American silver necklaces (Pueblo and Navajo), with a focus on pieces featuring elaborate silver squash blossoms. Many include beautiful elements of turquoise.


Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Zuni Pueblo Silver and Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace is from a family from Colorado

Recommended Reading: Zuni: A Village of Silversmiths by James Ostler

TAGS: Southwest Indian JewelryZuni Pueblo

A simple hook and loop secures this necklace.
Close up view of the blossoms, silver beads, and naja.
Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: silver, turquoise
  • Size:
    21” end-to-end; 2” x 1-¾” naja
  • Item # C4612E
  • SOLD

C4612E-necklace.jpgC4612E-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.