History of Native American Jewelry

Here at Fang Jewelry, we dedicate our collections to Native American culture specifically the Navajo Tribe.  Since Native American jewelry has become common in this generation, one should be educated on how Native American jewelry began. So when you’re wearing this type of jewelry at festivals, you know the history of it.

History on Native American Jewelry

Throughout history, people from all over the world have been making jewelry and adornments and Native Americans were no different. The majority of this jewelry is rooted back to the southwest of the United States.

Before silver, the majority of Native American jewelry was made of yarn, leather, and sinew. These materials were woven into patterns to create necklaces, bracelets, and clothing. Also, the unique and appealing item of nature were used.

In the late 1800s, that is when Native Americans began making jewelry with silver. This occurred when they encountered the Spaniards where they exchanged jewelry, ornaments for horses and other trinkets.

Usage of Gold

The usage of gold traces back to Aztec times within the natives of Mexico and Central America, it’s believed that the indigenous communities in the southwest used this metal as well.

It could be that the Native American knew how to use metals before the Spaniards arrived.

Usage of Turquoise

Each tribe was unique from one another but one common thing was the usage of beaded turquoise jewelry.

Turquoise and shell were paired with feathers and hung everywhere. The jewelry was traced over 2,3oo years ago in Arizona during the Hohokam era.

The reason turquoise was used so much was because of the power the stone had and all the legends that came with it. The Pima thought the stone brought good fortune and can overcome illnesses. In Hopi legend, the stone held back floods. The Apache believed it could make a gun or arrow shoot straight if the stone was on it. And the Navajo tribe considered it to bring good fortune and would appease the Wind Spirit.

 

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