Western Trading Post, which holds the world record for selling the highest-priced Squash Blossom Necklace at an Auction, discusses the history and the unique appeal of this necklace.
The Navajo Tribe
Across the Southwest, the squash blossom necklace is recognized as one of the most significant pieces in any handmade Native American jewelry collection. In addition, it is often recognized as being rooted in southwest jewelry traditions. The Navajos are believed to be the first tribe to begin using the squash blossom design around the 1870s.
By the turn of the 20th century, several other surrounding tribes had also adopted the design. The timeline means that the squash blossom may be the first piece of native design jewelry that also had European influences. The elements of the squash blossom necklace originated in ancient cultures but came together as a uniquely Navajo tradition in the American Southwest.
History of Squash Blossom Necklace
Spanish and more influencers introduced the ‘Naja’shape, which can be traced back through multiple cultures up to paleolithic times. Najahe in the native language of the Navajo people means Crescent shape or curve. The najahe shape was used to decorate the horse bridles of the Spanish and, over time, was adopted as the centerpiece of the squash blossom necklace. Squash blossom beads are named the beads that spread out and have a likeness to the actual squash or pomegranate blossom.
Early on, the beads used were round and simple. Sometimes dimes and quarters were used as well. The squash blossom necklaces today are not only made of sterling silver but also gold, mixed metals, and a variety of stones, including high-grade turquoise, coral, exquisite inlay work, and other familiar favorites.
Perhaps the most appealing quality of a squash blossom necklace is the boldness, pride, and individuality you feel every time you wear one.
Western Trading Post can help you find that perfect squash blossom necklace.
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