Turquoise in Navajo Culture

The turquoise gemstone holds a special significance in Native American culture but especially within the Navajo tribe. Turquoise, or doo tl’izh ii, is considered as the “stone of life”. It is popular amongst the Navajo community because of its jewelry but it does have a long history. Up until this day, the gemstone is valued for its scarcity, beauty and also, its historical significance.

Silver Feather Brooch

Turquoise and Navajo Culture

The gemstone was seen to bring good fortune. It would be stored in baskets and hung up from ceilings to keep away any evil. Additionally, the Navajo people would put the gemstone around the outside of their homes for that reason.

The belief of its good fortune made it common for people to carry it with them, like warrior and hunters. Eventually, its day-to-day usage turned the gemstone into jewelry to keep its energy around people.

Rituals and Ceremonies

With it’s good energy, it was often used in rituals and ceremonies. There’s a Native American legend that says turquoise was made from the tears of people. When the skies would open up and rain after a long drought, the tears of people would go into the Earth to make the gemstone.

Aside from that, the gemstone was the center of many spiritual observances. One piece was often put into a river after saying a prayer to the god of rain, Neinilii. Often times, the gemstone was connected to rain where people would use sticks with turquoise attached to find water.

Turquoise Bracelet

Homage to Navajo Jewelry

Due to the scarcity of this gemstone’s jewelry, it’s only right to invest in authentic Navajo jewelry. To understand its cultural context will give you a better understanding as to why you should invest only in authenticity.

Supporting authentic Navajo turquoise jewelry is to know the history and craft.

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