This traditional necklace consists of ten squash blossoms and a central naja or crescent. The beads are made of Liberty and Mercury Head dimes soldered together. The naja is fabricated from three wire crescents joined at each end with a turquoise setting in the middle just below the pendant.
The squash blossom necklace is a Southwest Indian jewelry design. The crescent symbol was brought to the region by the Spanish conquistadors (influenced by the Moorish occupation of Spain), who had silver and iron crescent pendants on the bridles of their horses. The Spanish also brought with them the art of silversmithing, which the Navajo made their own beginning in the mid 1800s. The Navajo call the necklaces yo ne maze disya gi, which translates as “the bead that spreads out.”
Navajo; Late 1940s
In memory of Louis Feinswog