History of Navajo Turquoise

History of Navajo Turquoise

The color turquoise represents happiness, luck, and health. Turquoise is also the most common component of Native American Jewelry. The Navajo were talented in molding turquoise into beads, and making the well known Heishi necklaces with stitched beads.

The Navajos had learned silversmithing from the Spanish and pueblos. After learning how to silversmith, the Navajos began to combine silver with the Navajo turquoise. The Navajo turquoise jewelry was commonly used for ceremonies and religious rituals. The Navajo have hand made many styles unlike their traditional turquoise jewelry because of the tourists needs and wants. Traditional Navajo turquoise jewelry contains more turquoise beads than silver. 

Black, white, blue, and green were the colors within the turquoise stone which represent the colors of the natural world. A horseshoe-shaped symbol or a symbol called “Naja” appeared often in tradition Navajo jewelry. Did you know, the symbol Naja was obtained from the Mexican culture, which represents good fortune? 

Squash blossom necklaces (my favorite) and Navajo turquoise inlay rings are the two most well-known styles. Squash blossom necklaces are made from silver and turquoise with a Naja.

The Navajo used coarse and rough tools for manufacturing jewelry before they were given tools from traders and other cultures, playing an important role in. Impressively, many times they would make hammers and anvils out of railroad metal scrap.

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