20-Strand Jet Heishi Necklace with Pendant
Kenneth Aguilar is a second-generation jeweler from Santo Domingo Pueblo (Kewa) in New Mexico. His mother, Ventura Aguilar, passed along her jewelry-making skills to him, and Kenneth has made jewelry in this style for over thirty years! In addition, Kenneth continued to expand his knowledge and skills by attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the late 1960s.
This piece, a magnificent example of his skill and style, features a jet pendant inlaid with silver designs, suspended from a large barrel bead inlaid with silver and with similar designs.
The sizable diameter of the barrel bead enables it to slide off the 20-strand small beads, so both the pendant and the necklace can be worn separately, as well as together. How convenient, and how economical – at least three different ways to wear the same piece!
Beginning at each of the silver cup-shaped end pieces there is traditionally cut baby olive shell heishi. After the heishi ends, each strand is composed mainly of hand-cut jet beads, though there are small baby olive shell heishi pieces separating the jet beads, as well as small silver beads interspersed throughout.
This is a substantial piece – though not as heavy as you think – and can be worn with many different looks.
A definitive statement necklace, this will be the subject of much admiration, and many ooohs and ahhhs!