Abalone Shell and Silver Horse Bolo
Long noted for his chip inlay work, this well-known jeweler says he tries “hard to make different styles and designs…Every piece is made with the meanings from my traditional ways.”
This splendid bolo exemplifies his statement: It is a definite departure from his usual style, and beautifully depicts a horse, a major part of traditional Navajo life.
Carved with great, realistic detail from an unusually colored, natural abalone shell, this horse head even wears a feather for luck, as in the old days of raiding and fighting.
Inlaid in sterling, the entire head is surrounded by a striking border of woven silver, suggesting the hand-braided bridles and reins of the past. His eyes are sky-blue turquoise, which enlivens the dark hue of the abalone shell.
Hand made sterling tips carry the design theme and fine workmanship to the ends of the leather cord – also hand made.
The tapered cones of silver end in hollow drum-shapes that are overlaid in rain and rainbow motifs. These are also good-luck symbols, and even resemble horses’ hoofs.
This bolo honors an historic time, when the Navajo were among the finest horsemen and most feared raiders in the Southwest. Its meticulous workmanship and creative details result in a piece like no other.
Bold, but stately, this wonderful bolo combines intricate carving, flawless silver-work, and a loving evocation of a proud past. It is destined to be cherished, and worn happily for years to come.