Category Archives: Native American Jewelry

Articles about Native American Jewelry and the artists who create it.

Who Are the Navajo? – Part Three

Navajo Clothing

The Navajo are the best known of the Native Americans when it comes to weaving. For hundreds of years, the Navajo have used a simple two-bar vertical loom for weaving, and it is with this that they have long created their unique Native American blankets. These blankets were referred to as “Chief’s blankets” due to their value. Continue reading

Who Are the Navajo? Part One

The name of the Navajo is among those best known by non-Native Americans, along with others including the Apache, Cherokee, Comanche, and Sioux. Navajo jewelry is among the most popular Native American jewelry, and the use of turquoise in Native American bracelets and other items by the Navajo is well-known. But just who are the Navajo as a People? Continue reading

Native American Jewelry: An Brief History

Native American jewelry is renowned worldwide for its unique style and distinctive designs. Crafted by indigenous artisans for many thousands of years, the jewelry of the Native Americans is influenced by the land, the spiritual beliefs, the legends, and the cultures of each unique nation, from the American Indians of the Southwest to those in the Northeast. These jewelry pieces have been crafted since the earliest times of the Inca, Aztecs, Maya, and Anasazi. Continue reading

Turquoise: Its Significance in Native American Culture

Turquoise is a semi-precious stone that has been held in high esteem for thousands of years, as a talisman and a holy stone, by everyone from the Ancient Egyptians to the ancient Persian Empire. It is described in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. Europeans associated the stone with protection for horses and riders. But it perhaps has no greater association than that it shares with the Native American peoples, for whom it is sacred, particularly for those of the US Southwest. This is why it is so popular in Native American art and Native American turquoise jewelry. Continue reading

Why Are Native Americans Referred to as Indians?

For many westerners, when we think of Native Americans and their culture, from Native American jewelry to the Hollywood-driven stereotypes of peace pipes and teepees, we may think of them as American Indians. This term is considered to be politically-incorrect by some, while others readily accept the term “American Indian”. It’s important to understand the correct terms for these unique diverse, and beautiful peoples. It is an issue not only for how non-Native-Americans refer to First Nations peoples but also how they describe themselves. Continue reading

Native American Jewelry – Navajo Phase 2

Phase 2 or the second period of Navajo silversmithing is generally thought of as being between 1910 -1940. This period is characterized by the exertion of outside forces such as commercialization, exploitation and economics almost dealing a death blow to the Navajo traditions. Continue reading