One of the notable aspects of Native life is how ancient traditions are maintained, but amended, for the time we live in now.
An admirable ability to live in two times, and two worlds, is exemplified by this contemporary heishi necklace set.
Although we have lost track of the artist’s name, she/he is certainly from Kewa – Santo Domingo Pueblo, where the art of heishi has been practiced for centuries. The design may have changed, but the method is the same as long, long ago.
The teeny, tiny round disks are of shell, cut into squares, drilled, and sanded down to the present shape. Each step of this time-consuming, tedious work leaves piles of debris.
What brings these three strands of heishi, beautifully, into the 21st century, is the addition of picture jasper elements cut into three-dimensional rectangles.
So-called, because of the natural variations in the stones, which seem to form pictures in large pieces, this jasper is a lovely accompaniment to the hues in the shell heishi.
The medley of warm beiges and browns makes a harmonious ensemble. Even the natural cord in the neck wrap echoes the paler beige!
These beautifully varied stones combine with the glossy, rope-like texture of the shell heishi in a lively and pleasing pattern of shapes and colors.
For blondes, redheads, and brunettes (that is, almost everyone), this palette of golden tones is hard to find, and very flattering.
The artist was thoughtful enough to include a pair of matching earrings, in the same materials and design! So, wear it all together, as a set, or wear each separately – lots of choices.
Lightweight to wear, fascinating in design, and beautifully made, as well, this contemporary heishi necklace will find its way into your wardrobe very, very often.