Horned Toad Cuff
Oxidized Sterling Silver and Morenci Turquoise Cuff By Artist Philander Begay. This cuff features sterling silver horned toad in the center of the cuff with a sterling silver bezel set Morenci Turquoise as the head of the toad, a Yeibeichei stretched from one side to the other, 18kt yellow gold beads, and silver stars. This cuff measures 2 1/2 width with a 1 1/2″ opening and is a size 6 cuff.
History of Native American Jewelry
Native American Jewelry has a unique past. Knowing that story is the key to understanding the Indian jewelry styles of today. Native Americans started making silver jewelry in the late 1800’s when the Spaniards came, making jewelry, ornaments for their horses and trinkets for barter. But the Indian jewelry made before this time provided the foundation for their own style. Although the tribes and their styles vary, some common themes persist.
Turquoise and shell, paired with feathers would be strung and hung from every place possible. Yarn, leather, and sinew were woven into patterns and incorporated into necklaces, bracelets and clothing with the stones and shell. Metal was rare but not out of the picture entirely. Some archeologists suggest gold and silver was worked by certain tribes in North America during this ancient time but its use would have been limited. Gold and Silver was worked by the Native peoples of Mexico and Central America since the time of the Aztec, so its possible Native American tribes living in the southwest region could be aware of metal working in some way much earlier than the Spanish arrival.