Five Easy Ways to Incorporate Native American Jewelry into Your Wardrobe
The Indian Pueblo Store offers an unsurpassed collection of original, handcrafted artwork and jewelry from talented Native American artists and has been a trusted source of handcrafted, authentic Native American art for more than 40 years. Featuring both traditional and contemporary work, the Indian Pueblo Store connects visitors to the rich artistic cultures of Pueblo peoples and other Southwest tribes.
If you've visited our store in the last five years, you've had the opportunity to meet Indian Pueblo Store Sales Lead, Shane Smith (Navajo) and experienced first-hand his passion for Native American art and heard his expert advice and recommendations on how to easily incorporate Native American jewelry into your wardrobe.
“Native Americans wear jewelry to stand out to our creator. When our creator sees how brightly we shine and sparkle in our jewelry, the creator says, ‘those are my children, give them what they want.’” – Shane Smith
1. Be True to Yourself
Choose jewelry that appeals to you – it’s important to wear what you like. Native American jewelry is transformative and can be worn in different ways – start with a simple and elegant heishi necklace and consider adding more heishi necklace strands depending on your style, color preferences and the occasion.
2. Make it Meaningful
Shane recommends wearing Native American jewelry that has meaning and honors a loved one or special experience:
“I have a unique necklace with a large turquoise pendant named the ‘Heart of Shimasani’ – Shimasani is Diné for grandmother – our grandmothers represent love, strength, wisdom and protection. Similarly, this is what turquoise does for us – it protects us and connects us with the spirit world. I’m proud of my heritage. When I walk into a room, I see heads turn because of my bold ‘Heart of Shimasani’ piece and I feel the warmth and love of my grandmother and mother. It brings me joy to wear jewelry created by Native American artists – the meaning and symbolism of Native American jewelry imbues radiant energy and pride.”
3. Be Bold
Make a statement with a captivating, one-of-a-kind piece. Shane recommends sticking to your personal style when selecting a statement piece. Keep the rest of your ensemble simple to strike the right balance to ensure the special statement piece can shine.
4. Consider Unexpected Combinations
Adding a select jewelry piece to your everyday style is an easy way to incorporate Native American jewelry into your wardrobe. Shane encourages pairing a classic string of pearls with a striking turquoise bracelet. Different styles and elements are complementary when worn together and create stunning and unexpected combinations. Pearls matched with a beautifully adorned and uniquely handcrafted turquoise bracelet adds just the right amount of sophisticated Southwestern flair to any outfit.
5. Proudly Wear the Necklace of New Mexico
“An investment piece everyone needs is a special squash blossom – the necklace of New Mexico.” states Smith. The squash blossom necklace represents a storied legacy of jewelry-making by Native Americans artists of the Southwest. Although the squash blossom is an emblem of Southwestern style, it has been embraced by American fashion designers, making its way into high fashion. From the red carpet to the streets of Santa Fe, the squash blossom has become one of the most valuable and collected forms of Native American jewelry. Squash blossom necklaces are timeless heirlooms to be enjoyed for generations.
Whether you’re an avid collector or just starting your journey of incorporating American Indian jewelry into your wardrobe, we hope these helpful tips encourage you to celebrate art of the Southwest.