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#167: Row

August 15, 2011

I found this row bracelet in a dusty little Nevada town last year.  The deep blue-green of its turquoise stones reminds me of the Southwestern night sky in that moment just after the sun sets, the vastness illuminated just before everything goes dark.

The lady with whom I found it said she believed it to be a Zuni piece from the 1940′s.  I think it looks more like old Navajo, with its crude bezels and rough character.  It’s  the imperfections that make things special.

It wasn’t until the early 1970′s that Native American artisans were caused to stamp their pieces with their initials or silver quality.  If you’re looking for something old, remember this important bit as you go along your travels.

In Navajo symbolism the circle signifies life.  I’ve written this over and over but it always feels good to do it again: turquoise protects the body and the spirit, and brings us health and happiness.  Go on and find yourself a nice little piece.

I just received the happy news that I’ll be taking an impromptu trip out to New Mexico next week.  That blue-green Southwestern sky is all mine.  Land of Enchantment, here I come…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2011 9:51 am

    Impromptu trip to the Land of Enchantment?! Jealous! I hope you find some neat treasures, take plenty of photos and consume an unreasonable quantity of green chiles in various forms! Are you going to the Intertribal Ceremonial in Gallup? I wish I was. Have fun!!!!

    • indiansummervintage permalink*
      August 16, 2011 10:10 am

      Limited to Santa Fe. Business trip!

  2. September 1, 2011 6:27 am

    Oh, I’ve been hutnig for the perfect turquoise ring for what feels like forever! Not so easy to get hold of in the UK :)

  3. Lisa permalink
    December 8, 2011 1:31 pm

    Hi Dana,
    It’s been a while since I have looked at your blog. Reading about Navajo jewelry and the photos of the Southwest with the clear blue skies, crisp air, clean stark desert plants makes me so homesick. I just love your taste in turquoise jewelry! I have a few precious unsigned pieces myself -all rings. I still have to find a bracelet.

    Have you been to Indian Market? I would really love to take a week and explore New Mexcio and go to this huge event. Can you give me any advice? I certainly want to visit Taos, Santa Fe and Chimayo.

    I’m here in Portland, Oregon and while I do love the trails and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, I miss the clear, still desert. It just must be in my blood since I grew up in Phoenix. Mind you, I don’t love Phoenix anymore but the Southwest in general, yes!
    love your blog-
    thanks,
    lisa

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