The Squash Blossom Necklace

The Squash Blossom Necklace

There is perhaps no art form more synonymous with Southwest Native American jewelry than the Squash Blossom Necklace.  The history of this iconic necklace is a fascinating tale of the fusion of cultures and an enduring fashion statement across generations.

Coyote Placing the Stars, A Navajo Creation Story

Coyote Placing the Stars, A Navajo Creation Story

This is a story of one of the Creation stories of the past in out Navajo Legends/Culture. This is a story of how the Stars were placed in the sky...
Father Sky and Mother Earth, a Navajo Creation Story

Father Sky and Mother Earth, a Navajo Creation Story

The first creation of the Great Spirit was Father Sky and Mother Earth, from whence all life sprang. The crossing of their hands and feet signifies the union of heaven and earth, bound eternally together by the Rainbow Guardian. Regardless of in which direction we may look, we find sky and earth fused as one on the horizon. The physical earth and sky or mind must function together to produce new life. All things are conceived first in thought before they become physical manifestations. This is the meaning of the line running from the head of Father Sky to the head of Mother Earth.

Tree of Life / Corn Pollen Chant, a Navajo Sandpainting Design

The following is a description of the design elements used in the Tree of Life / Corn Pollen Chant Navajo sandpainting. At the center is a Cornstalk which is one of the four sacred plants of the Navajo people – 1.  Corn (used in wedding and healing ceremonies) 2.  Squash 3.  Beans 4.  Tobacco The fanned feathers at the top of the Central Cornstalk symbolize the powers of clear thought and good judgment.

Navajo Yei and Yei-be-chai

“Yei” (pronounced “yay”) is the Navajo name for the benevolent supernatural beings who bring their healing power to medicinal ceremonies still performed today.

Man in the Maze

The iconic "Man in the Maze" (I'Itoi) symbol is an ancient design originally found on Tohono O’odham baskets. This prehistoric pattern, symbolizing one’s journey through life, also is the seal of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The legend of the “Man in the Maze” helps children understand the meaning of life.
Native American Petroglyph Symbols and their Meanings

Native American Petroglyph Symbols and their Meanings

Many of our artists use a variety of “Petroglyph Symbols” as design themes in their jewelry. Artists such as Myron Panteah, Kee Yazzie, Arland Ben, Lawrence Namoki, and many others have gained widespread popularity creating art with Petroglyph Symbol designs. These symbols have their origin in actual prehistoric petroglyph sites, found throughout the southwest. The symbols found at such petroglyph sites were carved into sandstone walls many hundreds of years ago.

Avanyu

Avanyu is the water serpent deity of the Pueblo tribes of Arizona and New Mexico, often depicted on San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblo pottery. The Avanyu symbolizes the importance of water to indigenous desert cultures. This symbol is also associated with lightning as shown by the serpent’s tongue. Avanyu appears on the walls of caves located high above washes and rivers in New Mexico and Arizona...
Whirling Log

Whirling Log

The Whirling Log symbol is not associated with the Swastika and pre-dates WWII. Long before its appearance in WWII, the Whirling Log symbol has been seen as a symbol of healing, protection, and well-being not only by the Navajo people, but also by inhabitants of ancient India, Tibet, and many cultures across Asia. The Whirling Log symbol comes from a Navajo folk tale and is considered to represent well-being and good luck.

Thunderbird

The Thunderbird is a legendary creature within many Native American cultures. It is considered to be an enormous bird with great powers. The name comes from the belief of a bird so large that when it flaps its wings, it causes the sound of thunder and creates storms.
Naja

Naja

With probable Paleolithic origins, the inverted crescent form (called Naja by the Navajo) has represented the Phoenician goddess of fertility, Astarte, and is mentioned in the Book of Judges among the “ornaments on camels’ necks.” The Moors – who dominated Spain for eight centuries – adopted the crescent as a horse’s bridle ornament, to protect the horse and rider from “the evil eye”. The Spanish then brought the idea to the Americas in the late 16th century.
Knifewing God

Knifewing God

The Zuni Knife-wing God (A-tchi-a la-to-pa), a sky being, has a combined human-bird form. Though an animistic spirit, he holds no religious significance when rendered in silver but is merely decorative.