Personal jewelry has been popular in the Southwest for hundreds of years. The archaeological record establishes that Zuni people have drilled and shaped strings of stones and shells for jewelry since at least AD. As Native American jewelry became popular in the last century, Zuni artists still used ancient techniques: beads were hand-drilled and fetishes hand-carved. Modern jewelry styles, like the fetish necklace, reference their earlier turquoise pendant and shell necklace predecessors.
This collection is from the estate of a woman who owned and operated retail clothing stores in Pinetop and Show Low, Arizona from to the mid s. She ran the stores on a day to day basis and knew many of the Santo Domingo, Navajo and Zuni women who shopped in her stores. They would often bring in their hand-made jewelry to trade for clothing.
Hey guys, I found this really helpful guide from the Keshi foundation of New Mexico, a public non-profit promoting Zuni arts. Fabrications were still considered by many, to be the real thing. Zuni artists continue to be harmed by the sale of imitations.