Pueblo neckwear refers to certain pieces created by Zuni and Santo Domingo (Kewa) artists. These are made using stones or shells as opposed to all-silver traditional Zuni neckwear. Several Native American tribes are known for their unique neckwear designs. Foremost is the so-called ‘squash blossom’ necklaces, primarily made by Navajo and Zuni jewelers. Another distinctive type of Native American neckwear is made with stones and shells. This neckwear is dominated by two Native American tribes – Zuni and Kewa, aka Santo Domingo. The Zuni neckwear is almost exclusively carvings of animals. These are referred to as Zuni Fetish Necklaces. Only a few Zuni artisans have made these over the past 70 years.
To view our Pueblo neckwear galleries, click on a thumbnail image below:
The Kewa (Santo Domingo) neckwear originated with olive and clam shells and other organic material, often referred to as ‘heishi’. The iconic Kewa necklaces were and still are so-called ‘jackla’ necklaces – one or more strands of turquoise beads or nuggets interspaced with heishi and adorned with one or more sets of jacklas hanging from the bottom. Recently a small number of Kewa artisans have been using a variety of other shells, stones and silver to create a host of designs and ‘looks’ in a traditional-contemporary mix.
A unique form of neckwear is Zuni Fetish Necklaces, made by only a few individuals and their families, yet renowned for their spiritual importance and elegance. Most of the early fetish carvings were worn as necklaces rather than carried or displayed. We offer a range of such Zuni necklaces by the top carvers. Kewa (aka Santo Domingo), a pueblo just south of Santa Fe, is best known for stone and shell necklaces. Dating from the 30s and earlier, these necklaces include the highly-collectible Depression era necklaces as well as tab and jackla neckwear (favored by Navajos and most other tribal groups) and more recently beads on heishi. We are the sole representatives of Nestoria Coriz, master stone and shell necklace jewelry maker. Nestoria is an artisan of fashion design, based on Kewa tradition. She is the scion of a well-known family of artisans, war lords and religious men.