Native American Necklace

The jewelry worn by the various Native American tribes varies, but the materials used are similar in all of them. Necklaces and arm bracelets were perhaps the most common of all jewelry in ancient times. But today, there is a whole range of jewelry available -  from necklaces to rings to earrings – many of them custom made. Earlier, a Native American necklace consisted of beads, shells, copper, silver, ivory, amber, or turquoise. Glass beads were not used in these necklaces since it was the Europeans who brought glass beads to America. It was also after the arrival of the Europeans that metalwork developed and diversified.

A Native American necklace was a valuable possession, particularly in trade. Another kind of Native American necklace is the one made from hammering and etching copper into pendants. The pendant might have silver inlay or a turquoise embedded into it. Then it would just be threaded onto a chain and lo behold! you have a necklace. The designs of a Native American necklace depend upon the tribe that is making and wearing it. Each tribe has its own tradition and tastes regarding all kinds of jewelry. A Native American necklace makes for a very unique and beautiful gift.

If you want to be sure that you are getting the real thing crafted by a tribesman or Native American artisan, you should buy the jewelry from a location where these people work. Often things sold over the internet or through middlemen may not really be what they claim to be. In order to have no doubts as to the authenticity of  the necklace, check with local agencies dealing with Native American art. They will be able to provide you with a list of locations where you can find an original Native American necklace. You might also get the opportunity to watch an artisan at work.

Joseph Paige 2006

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