Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace Finds a New Generation of Fans

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Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace, Focus of New

squash blossom necklace
Owning a squash blossom necklace goes beyond just owning a piece of jewelry.

Mainstream appreciation for the traditional squash blossom necklace is gaining traction in both the worlds of fashion and anthropology. This particular variety of necklace holds deep esoteric and cultural roots in Navajo culture, a fact which makes many modern-day jewelry enthusiasts flock to it. With a style that is both tribal and elegant, every inch of these necklaces is laced with epic stories and wise legends which exude proud Native American craftsmanship.

Differing from many standard Native American jewelry designs, these necklaces have a spark of modernity, thanks in part to a heavy reliance on silver as a medium. This trademark use of silver reveals something interesting about the necklace style's origins.

The squash blossom necklace has very specific origins which could only have happened during the interactions between the Spanish in the New World and Native Americans. Without trade and influence from the Spaniards, the use of silver and knowledge of metalwork which is used to create this design never would have been available.

“Owning a squash blossom necklace goes beyond just owning a piece of jewelry,” according to spokesperson Curt Stanley. "What you are holding in your hands is a tangible visual reputation of the point in history in which two cultures converged and traded knowledge."

During the 19th century, a trend began to arise of newly-trained Navajo metalsmiths honing their skills in order to create jewelry pieces for commerce with people outside of their culture. The pieces created during this period found instant favor with tourists and other outsiders, and any piece from that era is now considered a collectable.

Navajo artisans of today still produce these necklaces with the same care and authenticity as their ancestors. These artisans incorporate many elements such as gemstones, turquoise and coral, as well as interesting accents such as seashells or glass. There are even deluxe versions which feature expensive materials such as gold and diamonds. Other pieces are void of any gemstone work, relying instead of expressing the detailed metal shaping which has been perfected by careful hands.

Owning a squash blossom necklace is like holding a piece of history which is intrinsic to the human spirit. There is a sense of pride which comes from owning an authentic Navajo artisan work which simply cannot be felt from contemporary costume jewelry.

Helping to support Native American artists enables shoppers to contribute to preserving Native American culture and help the next generation of Navajos thrive. “Jewelry making continues to be an important part of Navajo society,” explains Stanley. “The ability to use jewelry for commerce has helped many Navajo families achieve economic independence.”

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Curt Stanley
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