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The Remarkable History of Navajo Pearls

The Remarkable History of Navajo Pearls

Published by Elizabeth Greenberg on 23rd Feb 2017

Walking In Beauty Text
Historical Navajo Lands Map



The largest Native American tribe, The Navajo, has a history that dates back to the 1500's. At the time, Native American tribes made beads by hand from the natural resources available to them. Depending on the materials, the tribe would assign a value to each bead and use them for trade. Materials included wood, stone, animal bones or teeth, and shells.

The Navajo also used beads to tell stories and pass them down from generation to generation. The beads act as the carrier and are strung together along with larger stones featuring carved figures and symbols.

When the Europeans arrived, they brought a number of new elements with them including copper, silver, and glass. Navajo Pearls are made of sterling silver and every individual one is handmade from cutting all the way through to stringing. No two beads are alike and the time-intensive process is what makes Navajo Pearls so special and so expensive.                     

                               6mm Navajo Style Necklace

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Some Navajo Pearls have intricate designs while others are smooth with some style variations. This gives you the option to wear them alone or with a pendant; maybe even create your own story beads to pass down through the generations

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   Navajo Pearl Bullet and Disc Necklace  

 

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Pendants can depict people, places, or even symbols that remind you of an experience, a passion, or a love. To create story beads, you add a pendant to your strand of Navajo Pearls. The pendant should depict something of meaning to you: a horse, tree of life, or a symbol. Then, you need to tell your story and allow the pendant's image to inspire the story's illustration.