Native American jewelry is very diversified

Posted by AllmaJess on December 19th, 2014

Each authentic piece of Navajo jewelry that you see is a form of art. Crafting the jewels requires dedication and lots of hard work, as well as lots of creativity. There are various styles of Native American jewelry, and new designs appear at a constant rate. Let’s see which some of the best and most original designs are.

The main characteristic of Native American jewelry is the fact that it’s created with natural stones such as Turquoise, Lapis, Variscite, Malachite, Opal, Onyx, Tiger’s Eye, Howlite etc. Therefore, natural materials are a key feature in Navajo jewelry. Because the stones themselves have different shapes, no two jewelry pieces will be the same. Moreover, each jewelry artist transfers his own personality, character and originality unto the jewels he creates, so that’s another reason why there are so many different styles of Native American jewelry.
 In Native American culture, man is deeply connected to nature, to the earth and the whole creation; to keep this sacred connection, it is important to use only organic materials, because these represent life, tradition, and steadiness. When he puts his heart into his jewels, the artists really creates something rather than just fabricates an object. Native American culture is full of beauty and unimaginable richness for those who have the eyes to see it.

So, now that we’ve made a very short introduction about Native American jewelry and the philosophy behind it, let’s go on to discuss a few jewelry styles that artists commonly craft.
The most popular design is the ‘single stone’ one, commonly crafted by all Indian artists. This implies using just one stone (it can also be an organic material, not necessarily a stone) as a center piece, and then other small decorative elements to emphasize the beauty of the central component. This type of Navajo jewelry can be decorated with organic materials such as coral, Spiny Oyster, wood, Mother of Pearl etc.

Another interesting design is the ‘the row’, which is a multiple-stone design with elements that are aligned either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The most popular display is the horizontal row. There are many variations to this style; for instance, instead of bringing the stones into line, artists can position them in arranged clusters or random clusters. The ‘arranged cluster’ type is especially representative for Navajo jewelry.

One of the most popular designs is the ‘multiple stone’ one. Usually, these jewelries use at least two different types of stones, most commonly Turquoise and an organic material. It’s also possible to combine this design with other styles, to create more interesting jewelry items. Adding some silverwork can make the jewels look extraordinary.
A really rare and unique style is the ‘channel’. To create this type of jewelry, artists craft metal channels and then cut the stones to fit these channels perfectly. The fact that it takes longer to create these adornments raises their value.
We’ve only mentioned a few of the most interesting Navajo jewelry designs artists craft, but there are many more to discover.

Navajo jewelry is incredibly diversified: there are tens of styles of Native American jewelry, and each piece artists craft is unique!

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