The history of Native American jewelry making has been discovered in excavations of prehistoric ruins. The making of beads has been known as an ancient craft in the history of Native American jewelry. The necklaces made with the beads are often known as heishe.
Heishe is a word that comes from Santo Domingo. The word means shell. Beads usually came from the seashells such as Spiny Oysters, Pearls, Abalone Shells, Conch Shells, and Clam Shells. These shells are behind some of the history of Native American jewelry. These particular shells have been an important trade item in the Southwest for the last 1,000 years in the history of Native American jewelry.
Discovering the History of Native American Jewelry
The history of Native American jewelry that uses sterling silver is not considered an ancient art. The Mexican Silversmiths learned how to make the silver around the year of 1850. The Mexican Silversmiths would exchange their knowledge and some of their trinkets made from the metal silver for animals, such as cattle, with the Navajo tribal Indians.
This is how the history of Native American jewelry began. This associated trading with the Mexican Silversmiths would be the jewelry gateway for the Navajo Blacksmiths to learn the silver jewelry making arts.
Sand casting by the Navajo tribe is one of the most oldest and well-known silver working techniques around with this specific tribe. This was one of the beginnings with the history of Native American jewelry arts. This silver jewelry technique was passed down when they started trading with the Zuni Indian tribe for their livestock.
Once again, this is one of the hurdles that started the jewelry making cycle in the history of Native American jewelry. In 1872 one of the Navajo tribe members taught a Zuni tribe members the art of silversmithing. This was the third category that began the history of Native American jewelry making.
The Zuni tribe members taught the Hopi tribe this silver art work technique around the year of 1890. This again was the fourth tier in the cycle of the history of Native American jewelry making. The silver used to make their jewelry was never mined by the artists of the Native American Indian tribes.
The Native American tribe of Indians are well known all over the world for their beautiful jewelry pieces made from their famous turquoise stones. This was again some of the start of the history of Native American jewelry.
The tribe known as the Zuni Indians has made their jewelry techniques with silver and channel inlay, cluster techniques, needlepointing techniques, mosaic techniques, and petit points techniques. They use numerous shells and various stones. Again, this was one of the marks that notes the history of Native American jewelry.
The tribe of Indians known as the Navajo artists are well known for their Squash Blossom Necklace pieces. This technique is another mark in the history of Native American jewelry.
The tribe known as Hopi Silversmiths artists use the technique known as overlaying and they almost never use stones in their jewelry making. This again marks the history of Native American jewelry.
The Indian tribe known as Santo Domingo artists make beautiful jewelry from gorgeous beads. This again is one of the most important keys in the history of Native American jewelry making.
The skills and techniques of making the Indian jewelry is passed down through each generation from all of the tribes. This is why their jewelry is so unique and beautiful to wear. Perfection at its finest!