One of SuperJeweler’s blog readers recently commented on the beauty of Native American jewelry, and I couldn’t agree more! That comment inspired me to take a look through our stock for some jewelry influenced by North America’s rich native culture.
The depth and breadth of North America’s native history is stunning. Thousands of tribes dating back 50,000 years called the continent home prior to European colonization (a paltry 407 years ago)! At one time it’s estimated that more than 1,000 different languages were spoken on the North American continent.
In fact, it was thanks to the use of several of these languages – Choktaw, Cherokee, Comanche, Hopi, Navajo, and Sioux (just to name a few) – that American and allied forces were able to safely transmit coded messages in WWI and WWII. Dubbed “code talkers,” Native American culture played a vital role in WWII allied victory. Navajo was especially important as the language is both entirely unwritten and extremely complex – not to mention that at the outbreak of WWII, it was estimated that only 30 people in the world spoke or understood the language. This code proved to be unbreakable, and continued to be utilized even after the war. The importance of the Navajo code and it’s continued use prevented the recognition of these Native heroes until the early 1990’s.
American culture as a whole has benefitted in a multitude of ways from the knowledge, music, spirituality, language, and art of the cultures who lived and worked the land for thousands of years. In honor of these influences, I’ve chosen a few of the items that pay homage to the native aesthetic. Take, for instance, SJ’s Bold Accent Turquoise Stretch Bracelet. In keeping with the native tradition of finding inspiration in the natural world, check out these absolutely fabulous Rhinestone and Feather Accented Dangle Earrings! Arrows were, of course, one of the most important tools for any hunter-gatherer societies, so I’ve also included SuperJeweler’s Gold Toned Arrow Ring. Finally, I couldn’t help but include our Glass Seed Beaded Necklace – although a little different from typical Native American style, many tribes are known for their stunning beadwork.
Take some time to appreciate all of the beauty and complexity of North America’s native heritage. You can find more native-inspired jewelry at SJ by checking out our fashion jewelry!