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Sterling silver squash blossom with 15 turquoise stones. There are 5 blossoms on each side. Each blossom measure 1 1/2" wide from stone to blossom. The naja (the horseshoe at the bottom) has 5 stones and measures approximately 2 1/2" wide and 2" long from tallest point. Entire squash measures 28" long and is strung with sterling silver beads. This authentic native american necklace was crafted by a Navajo artisan.
This turquoise squash blossom can be shipped internationally.
When Indian jewelry is mentioned, the symbol that most often comes to mind is the squash blossom necklace — the cornerstone of most Indian jewelry collections.
This particular art object is truly an Indian creation. However, it developed slowly and has roots deep in non-Indian culture and history. The principle part of the necklace is the crescent-shaped pendant, which the Southwestern Indians first saw as iron ornaments on the horse bridles of the Spanish Conquistadors in the late 1500s and early 1600s, and were soon a popular pendant among the local Indians.
The acquisition of this medallion was a matter of pride and the ornament, reproduced in the various metals, was proudly displayed during ceremonials. These pendants, originally brought from Spain, reflected the influence of earlier Moorish conquests and the occupation of Spain.
As generations came and went, the pendant, referred to as a najahe or naja, became symbolic with various ceremonials. Since most ceremonials were related to the agricultural cycle, the naja was associated with crop fertility.
Once silver beads came into fashion, they were added to the naja. The first beads were large, non-ornamental and round. From these, more complicated beads that were fluted and oval developed. Often, dimes and quarters were fastened to a silver shank and strung between the beads. Occasionally, these coins were domed, filled, and made into beads.
The necklace we now call the squash blossom probably didn’t originate much before 1880. It was not mentioned by Washington Mathews in his Navajo Silversmiths Second Annual Report, 1880–1881. Arthur Woodard, in 1938, pointed out that the Navajo and Zuni beads were originally Spanish-Mexican trouser and jacket ornaments, fashioned to resemble the pomegranate, a common Spanish decorator motif, often carved or painted on missions in Mexico and worn on clothing.
Early Navajo “squash blossom” beads show a striking similarity to the Mexican ornament and the pomegranate. Still, despite the similarities, there is quite a bit of doubt that the Navajo attempted to depict this blossom in his bead.
The Navajo word for the “squash blossom” bead is yo ne maze disya gi, which means simply “bead that spreads out.” Nothing in the word denoted squash or pomegranate blossom. It is doubtful that the Navajo intended that the bead represent a squash blossom.
All have tended to portray the necklace in a crop-fertility light. The Indian ceremonials dealt largely with the agricultural cycle, and the first jewelry was worn during these occasions. In addition, the beads and chain looked like pomegranates or squash blossoms.
The squash blossom necklace itself is a Navajo design, adopted by the Zuni. However, it was the Zuni who first added stones of turquoise on each of the blossoms, which was then later adopted by the Navajo.