They learned about jewelry making when they came into contact with the Spanish around the 16th century.
In this interview, author and collector Mark Bahti shares his lifelong appreciation for the artistry of Southwest Native American jewelry.
Bahti has written numerous books on Native American culture and crafts, and he’s the proprietor of Bahti Indian Arts based in Arizona and New Mexico.
The influence of the Spanish can clearly be seen by the use of the pomegranate blossom, sometimes known as the squash blossom necklace, which was inspired by the Moorish crescent.
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If you are prepared to take everything at face value and weed through what might be less than scrupulous people, then you might make a few good friends.
A little information about the origin of Native American jewelry: Native Americans have used jewelry through the years both as adornment and in trade.
Native Americans use stones like turquoise, spiny oyster shell, lapis, coral and black jet to make their jewelry; primarily necklaces, bracelets and rings.
These indigenous American peoples jewelry consist of all types including bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings; and are made from numerous materials including turquoise, bone, precious stones, semi-precious stones, silver, antlers, porcupine quills, and copper.