Southwest Silver Jewelry: The First Century

By Paula A. Baxter, July 1, 2007

jpegThis beautiful book examines the first century of Navajo and Pueblo metal jewelry-making in the American Southwest. Beginning in the late 1860s, the region’s native peoples learned metalworking and became accomplished silversmiths. Their work was united with a long-standing native traditon of beads and ornaments made from turquoise and other natural materials. The cross-cultural appeal of this jewelry continued into the mid-1900s, despite competition from tourist jewelry and mass-produced imitations. By the 1950s and 1960s, masters such as innovators Kenneth Begay and Charles Loloma created a legacy of fine art jewelry that is prized today. This development is discussed in the context of social changes and adaptations over the century. A values reference guide is also provided.

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