Saturday, August 23, 2008

Native American Beadwork

Just because I grew up in Oklahoma (whose state motto is, "Native America"), doesn't necessarily mean I grew up loving Native American art or jewelry. My appreciation came with time and was helped along by the fact that I lived away from OK for many years -- absence definitely made my heart grow fonder in this case.

Beadwork is one of my favorite elements of Native American art, and I have been spying Native American-inspired beaded jewelry in a variety of shopping chains lately. I almost bought a beaded bracelet at Forever 21 a few weeks ago, but stopped myself because I felt guilty about the idea of buying something that was basically a "copy" of an authentic craft. Now, I'm not usually a stickler about this kind of thing, but I guess because I have grown to appreciate the artistry and heritage involved in the making of native crafts and jewelry, I realized it was better to spend a bit more money and actually support these artists, rather than shell out a few more bucks to big businesses that won't really miss the few extra dollars.

Websites like Coyote's Game, sell original, truly hand-made items from New Mexico and the Southwest and showcase the artists and artisans of these areas. Here are some beautiful examples:

These two are TOO pricey for me, but so exquisite to look at...


Navajo artist Nora Johnson made the light blue/multi diamond pattern loomwork for this belt using 14ยบ seed beads, $366.50.



Rug pattern necklace made with dark royal blue/multi seed beads, $161.50

Some more wallet-friendly options:

Navajo/Comanche bugle bead pyramid earrings, $42.25


Navajo artist Mary E. Tsosie's hoop earrings, $22.50


Navajo Friendship Bracelet, $30.75


Navajo feather/diamond pattern cuff bracelet, $52.75

9 comments:

Bargain Fashionista said...

Good decision on your part. Yeah I love some of the native american crafts I've come around.

Sharon Rose said...

These are superb picks of this lovely tradition!!

Richel said...

I like the necklace, but it just seems so expensive!

emily said...

oh gosh, i wish i had the money for that belt.

StrikeMatch said...

So lovely. I love the colours together.

Sara Millionaire said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog; I'd love to link with you!

I grew up in Northern Arizona right on the edge of the Navajo Indian reservation...so this kind of jewelry is really nostalgic for me. I absolutely love it!

dirtydirtylaundry said...

Would you be interested in exchanging links? I'd love to add your site to my blogroll, it's very interesting.

Savvy Mode SG said...

statement jewelry is the hot trend now. very color, i like too.

WendyB said...

I've always loved that beaded jewelry.