Vintage Native American Style Hematite & Melon Coral Beaded Necklace
Vintage southwestern Native-American style handcrafted hematite & melon coral beaded necklace. The necklace features hand carved melon-shaped coral with hematite beads.
Measurements: 24 inches
Weight: 30 grams
The necklace is in very good vintage condition
The necklace is unsigned.
History: Coral has been used in jewelry for at least 30,000 years. In North America, ‘blood coral’ was brought from the Mediterranean waters by Europeans. It was then introduced & traded with Native Americans around 600 years ago. Tribes that have used coral throughout history includes the Zuni, Hopi, & Santo Domingo. Early Native American coral jewelry used coral for a variety of reasons, which includes necklaces as trade beads and for ceremonial purposes.
History: For centuries, dating back as far as 10,000 B.C, Native American stone jewelry was created with natural resources in the Southwest region. At first, ornaments created by Paleo-Indians were animal bones, coral, shells, and stones. However, as time went on the complexity of jewelry making included using turquoise, copper, semi-precious stones, silver, and abalone. Native Americans in the Southwest region began selling silver & turquoise jewelry to tourists around 1900, but combining turquoise with silver was common among the Navajo tribe in the 1880's.
When tourism increased in the Southwest region due to the opening of the Grand Canyon, the demand of Native American turquoise jewelry also increased dramatically. Many Native American jewelry artists were blacksmiths and silversmiths who taught each other the trade. Around 1860, Navajo Native American Atsidi Sani (c.1830-c.1918) began to create with silver to create ornaments for horse gear and jewelry. Atsidi Sani taught his four sons and other Navajo Americans the silversmith trade. By the turn of the 20th century, Native Americans were not only creating jewelry ornaments for themselves, but also as commercial consumption for tourists as well.