Vintage Shell Turquoise Santo Domingo Depression Era Thunderbird Heishi Necklace

$550.00

Vintage Shell Turquoise Santo Domingo Depression Era Thunderbird Heishi Necklace

This necklace is made from bone, turquoise, and hard rubber. It is type of necklace made during the 1930’s by Santo Domingo mosaic artists. This necklace differs from most in its use of bone for the background material, vs. the more common black battery covers. Scroll down to see further description of this genre as well as links to articles.

This necklace was exhibited in the Wheelwright Museum’s 2011 – 2012 show mentioned in the description below.

The bone background of one of the uppermost tabs has suffered some loss, as seen in the main photo. Sterling silver clasp may be a later addition.

Necklace is 26 1/2 inches long. Bird pendant is 1 1/2 inches high x 1 1/7 inches wide.

Out of stock

Vintage Shell Turquoise Santo Domingo Depression Era Thunderbird Heishi Necklace

During the Great Depression, from the 1930s and partially through the 1940s, it was often difficult for Native American jewelry makers to purchase what they had until then considered authentic materials, such as jet. As a result, resourceful Kewa (Santo Domingo Pueblo) mosaic artists began substituting other materials, including battery casings and LP records. This innovation quickly became a tradition and is now admired and collected for its historic value as well as its beauty.

El Palacio’s online magazine describes the history of this new tradition: Santo Domingo Pueblo’s Depression Jewelry.

Indian Country Today describes an exhibit of this work at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum at Colonial Williamsburg: Ugly Junk into Beautiful Jewelry?

The Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe gives a brief description of their exhibit of this work in 2011 – 2012: Thunderbird Jewelry of Santo Domingo.

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 10 × 6 in
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