Michael Little Elk was a Plains Indian, but married a Navajo lady and lived here in the southwest, so we were privileged to have many of his unique jewelry pieces. Unhappily, he is one of the many fine artists and friends who left this earth, too soon. We were gratified to discover this splendid bracelet of his, while organizing our inventory recently.
At first glance, this is a striking bracelet because of the superb, natural Royston turquoise stone, the unusual shape, and also its darkly granular, glittering background and gleaming appliques. The magnificent natural turquoise, prominently placed on top, is an old Royston stone with marvelous variations in the luminous greens. Notice that the bezel matches the dark and granular surface of the cuff – a small, but very artistic detail that links it to the body of the piece.
Look again at the shape of the piece; it is an abstract bear! The head and ear are at one side of the center, while tail and claws are clearly shown at the other end. A gleaming, polished silver, stylized heartline extends from his muzzle to the center, symbolizing the seat of his power. These subtle details are gracefully and expertly fashioned, without detracting from the drama of the stone and bracelet itself.
Bears are almost universal symbols of power, strength, and survival savvy, among Native tribes. This creative, but comfortable, bracelet celebrates the animal and its attributes, while hiding the message in a fabulous design, with an extraordinary stone. Enjoy both the protection of the bear and the uncommon beauty of the bracelet, created by a masterful artist.