This is a standard reference for American Indian jewelry, a source for factual information, neatly organized and lavishly illustrated in full color. Each profile identifies the artist by tribe, clan, active years, styles, lifespan, residences, education, teachers, students, awards, exhibitions, demonstrations, collections, photographs, and publications. Many profiles feature original quotations from the artists, as well as comments from scholars, collectors and veterans in the field. Personal portrait pictures and close-ups of their jewelry help to bring their biographies to life. From the American Indian Arts Series, this book and its companion volume Indian Jewelry II: A to L are essential resources for Native American jewelry collectors.
- Author: Gregory Schaaf
- Hardback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Ciac Pr; First Edition (May 1, 2013)
- ISBN-10: 0977665259
- Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 1.3 inches
About the Artist
Dr. Gregory Schaaf is the Director of the Center for Indigenous Arts & Cultures in Santa Fe. He earned his doctorate in American Indian History and a degree in Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. During his distinguished teaching career, he became an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Native American Studies Programs. As a recognized scholar, he addressed the United Nations and testified before the United States Senate on Indian Affairs. He is the author of the American Indian Art Series; Wampum Belts & Peace Trees; Franklin, Jefferson, & Madison: On Religion & the State; The U.S. Constitution and the Great Law of Peace.
Jewelry has been made and worn in the Southwest since prehistoric times. For thousands of years Native Southwestern people have made mosaic inlay and beads of turquoise, shell, bone or stone. Metal arrived with the Spanish. Native Americans acquired metal ornaments through trade, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that Navajo and Zuni artisans learned the craft from Mexican blacksmiths and silversmiths. Their early silver jewelry creations were plain, with simple engraved, stamped or punched designs. Turquoise was first used in silver around 1880. By the turn of the century, silversmithing was widespread across the Southwest and Native artists were making more sophisticated pieces like concha belts and squash blossom and naja necklaces. The Navajo soon became known for their use of silver, emphasizing silver-heavy designs with only a few gemstones, while the Zuni focused on stone work, featuring finely cut clusters of gems in complex patterns. The Hopi and Pueblo tribes also developed distinctive jewelry styles in the early 1900s. Today, Native American artists draw upon both traditional and contemporary influences, and their shell, gemstone and silver jewelry is prized and collected by people around the world.Read our Native American Jewelry Collector's Guide.