Among the of the Southwestern United States, there are many similarities and differences in the unique arts and cultural traditions of the individual indigenous communities. While traditional Hopi and Zuni have their own unique design elements, because of their proximity, some common thematic elements can be viewed in their jewelry design, such as the use of certain silversmith practices. Read on to learn more about the unique history and design features of the traditional jewelry-making practices from each tribe.
Up until the early 20th century, Hopi jewelry was said to be almost indistinguishable from Navajo jewelry. This is because many of the silversmith practices originally came from the Navajo people. After World War II, a cooperative was formed among Hopi silversmiths to help solidify a distinct style of Hopi silversmith from other tribes. It was during this time that the widely recognized overlay style was developed. This style consists of two distinct layers of silver where the top layer is carved or stippled with designs, and the bottom layer is oxidized to appear black. These two layers are then fused together.
Like the Hopi, the Zuni jewelry style has also been greatly influenced by the Navajo’s introduction of silversmith practices in the 1870’s. However, before the introduction of silversmith, there was still an incredibly rich history of jewelry making dating back thousands of years. Artisans are widely known for their beautiful inlay jewelry style and the delicate petit point and needlepoint work. Unlike http://www.onlinepharmacyreviews.net/ many of the surrounding communities, when it comes to working with gemstones, the Zuni people favor smaller and more delicately cut pieces, particularly in their petit point and needlepoint work.
In addition to the intricately cut stonework that the Zuni people are widely known for, their skillful carving is also displayed in the animal-themed stoned fetish work that is produced by Zuni artisans. These small stone figures are used as decorative objects or often incorporated into jewelry and are said to hold the properties of power, protection, and luck within the forms of these sacred animals.
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