Commercialism influenced Navajo jewelry-making as early as the 1910s and 1920s, when Indian Traders and railroad vendors, such as the Fred Harvey Company, offered incentives The pueblo of Zuni Native American Indians is located in western New Mexico (south of Gallup) near the Arizona border.
Jewelry-making is the major craft industry of the village.
Early Navajo works from the 1870s are generally clean, plain silver pieces, marked by simple surface decoration (punched and stamped).
Some of the more commonly used designs may have been derived from Spanish colonial horse gear and male dress ornamentation.
After 1900, they began to create jewelry for commercial consumption as well.
The availability of turquoise and silver, together with better silver working tools, enabled craftsmen to supply the growing market among Indian traders and tourists who were arriving in droves by railroad to visit the Southwest.
Zuni Indian Drilling Turquoise, 1930However, early Zuni Indian jewelry-making efforts often took the form of collaborations between Navajos and Zuni Indians, in which a Navajo smith would cast a silver piece-by sandcasting or another method-and a Zuni Indian lapidarist would set in the stones. Wallace, who stimulated sales and new directions for Zuni Indian jewelry.
Adair research, confirmed by others, identifies Atsis Sani (active 1860s to 1890s, d. ) as the first Navajo to work silver, and another early smith, Atsis Chon (active1870s to ca.Atsidi Sani's younger brother, Slender Maker of silver (active 1880s to 1890s, d.1916), has been credited with numerous innovations in silver and stonework design during the 1880s and 1890s.Because truth be told, a lot of us don't possess the bodies to experiment with. Quite late, actually—when I was 17 and in Indonesia. I was in boarding school, so my everyday wardrobe was just my uniform or track suits. The number of Zuni Indian men and women engaged in silversmithing and lapidary work steadily increased as the twentieth century progressed.