These stunning thunderbird earrings were handcrafted by Zuni Pueblo artist Breon Wallace in the channel inlay style of jewelry making. Filled with meaning and symbolism, these earrings feature the thunderbird, a symbol closely associated with Pueblo culture. Though the history of the design is not clear, it is seen as a symbol of strength, fertility and abundance. Santo Domingo artists are known for reviving and popularizing the thunderbird design in the early 1900s. When traditional materials were unavailable during the Great Depression, they turned to repurposed and found materials such as car batteries, records, and household plastics to create colorful necklaces with a thunderbird motif. Tourists were captivated by these handmade pieces and today thunderbird jewelry is a celebrated style among Santo Domingo artists and collectors of Native American art.
Channel inlay is a distinctive jewelry technique closely associated with Native American people of the Southwest, particularly Zuni jewelers. When creating channel inlay jewelry, artists set precisely cut gemstones into pre-formed silver channels. The technique allows artists to use colorful combinations of gemstones in complex and creative patterns. Channel inlay requires masterful silversmithing and lapidary skills, and is utilized by Native American jewelers to create magnificent jewelry pieces recognized for their craftsmanship and beauty as art.
Earrings measure 1-1/8" long by 7/8" wide with surgical posts. Comes with certificate of authenticity.
Our Guarantee of Authenticity
At the Indian Pueblo Store we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft. At a time when many commercially-made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.