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Zuni needle point squash blossom necklace
SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE
While squash blossom imagery can be found in petroglyphs (rock art) that pre-date European contact in the Southwest, Dubin said the squash blossom necklace was created in the late 1870s or early 1880s after the native people of the area made contact with Spanish Mexicans.
The Navajo, it is believed, were the first tribe to adopt the design, but by the early 1900s, the art form had spread to neighboring tribes, including the Zuni and the Pueblo.
While the entire necklace has taken its name from one type of bead, the classic squash blossom necklace actually has three distinct parts: the plain round beads; the round beads Naja.
Naja is also representative of the womb, and when a squash blossom necklace features a single turquoise nugget suspended from the Naja, it is often interpreted to be symbolic of a child in the womb.
Combining many stones into one piece makes some of the most beautiful and exciting Native American jewelry. Depending on how the stones are cut, this style of combining stones can be called Cluster-Work, Needle Point, Petit Point and Snake Eyes. These four styles emerged in the early 1920’s-1940’s and are primarily made by the Zuni Tribe, although some Navajos will make similar designs. These styles have a feminine quality to them, as the stones are set in small and elegant settings.
Needle point Jewelry is a very elegant style that emerged in Zuni jewelry in the 1940’s. It is among some of the most labor intensive jewelry to make. Made by both Navajo and Zuni artist, this style is defined as a small slivers of stone that are pointed on both ends.