Taylor Gurney p.2
History of Native American Jewelry
I would like to talk about the history of Native Americans jewelry between the years 1870-1930. I’m going to talk about when certain tribes started some of the technique and the use of different supplies and materials that were used to make jewelry. One of the first major tribes to start in the making of jewelry was the Navajos. In the 1870 the Navajos where shown how to smelt silver by Mexican silversmiths. They would use silver coins given to them by the Mexicans or the U.S. government. They also used tea pot candle holders and whatever they could find. They wanted the Mexican silver coins because they were easier to work with then the American coin. The American government then out lawed the melting or deface by soldering on hooks, eyes, jump rings or by doming coins, but that did not stop the native Americans from doing it. The Mexican silversmiths would trade silver like coins to the Navajos for other goods. At this time the Mexicans had shown the Navajos how to also smelt the silver into useable material. They also taught them how to stamp the metal in the same way as they did with leather. The Navajos soon added their own style to their jewelry. They started adding the beautiful stone turquoise to their jewelry. It is believed that a Silversmith by the name Atsis Chon was the first Navajo to set turquoise into silver. Atsis taught his sons how to smith silver as well. When they learned this task they went and showed others. Navajos also found a technique called Sandcasting using the sandstone or also called tufas. Sandcasting is simply the idea to have a mold or shape that is hallow in a box of sand, fill the shape or mold with molten metal, and shake the sand away from the metal to see the finished piece of jewelry. The Navajos where known for their dye stamps which were used for more of a decretive effect on the piece. The use of dyes was thought to come from the Mexican leather...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document