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The origins of modern Zuni jewelry

Posted Jan 19, 2015 by tedmark
Sure, you’ve heard about Zuni jewelry and you’ve seen women wearing such jewelry, but do you know the origins of this style of jewelry and how it came to be?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Press Release) Jan 19, 2015 -- Sure, you’ve heard about Zuni jewelry and you’ve seen women wearing such jewelry, but do you know the origins of this style of jewelry and how it came to be? The jewelry originates from the Indian community in Zuni Pueblo, located in New Mexico. This community has a rich tradition and impressive history. From ancient times, the Zuni tribe used jewelry in religious rituals and as a symbol of status. To this day, the jewelry the Zuni create has high symbolic value and is still used in various ceremonies.
The first jewels developed by the Zuni people weren’t made with silver or other precious materials, as we see today. Most Native Americans were hunters and farmers for a long time, so the first jewels they crafted were made from what these people could find in their daily lives: antlers, rocks, bone, wood, feathers, plan fibers etc. Thanks to the proximity of these communities to the ocean, they also had access to coral, which they used to create beads and craft necklaces, bracelets, wampum and all sorts of adornments. Later, the Zuni people introduced Turquoise in their jewelry making, so, little by little, their artistry began to take new forms. By the time the Zuni Pueblo was formed, which was around 700 AD according to the evidence discovered by archaeologists, the Zuni community had already formed a rich tradition in jewelry crafting.
The arrival of the Settlers and the colonial era brought substantial changes to the way the Zuni people lived, but the Zuni Pueblo managed to survive. The community slowly adapted to the new realities and began using what the new civilization brought to the American land in their art. Somewhere around the 1800s, Zuni jewelry artists started using silver in their jewelry, thus creating what we now recognize to be Zuni jewelry. The art of these Indian people became even more sophisticated and exquisite, as the jewelers started combining silver with beautiful gemstones like Turquoise, coral or Mother-of-Pearl to craft unique jewelry. During the 1900s and especially towards the second half of the century, authentic Zuni jewelry started to grow in popularity. By the 1960s, Zuni jewelry was already well-known by jewelry designers and it had become a symbol of the Zuni tribe.
What we can learn from the Zuni Pueblo history is that every historical reality has deep effects on a civilization, on people’s culture. The Indians living in Zuni Pueblo took the best out of what they were given and used it to enrich their culture even more, to become highly professional in their art. The results are clearly visible: authentic Zuni jewelries made by Indian artists are highly prized in our modern world. The most beautiful Zuni artifacts are sought after by passionate jewelry collectors who recognize the true beauty and value of these jewels. With our support, the Zuni community will continue to thrive and craft us wonderful objects which are part of our global culture.

The artists living in Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico handcraft wonderful Zuni jewelry for all tastes and budgets.
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Issued By : tedmark
Country : United Kingdom
Categories : Business
Last Updated : Jan 19, 2015

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