Hopi artist Ruben Saufkie Sr. is a notable silversmith with illustrious relatives, as well: the late, revered Lawrence Saufkie, his great-uncle, and the equally celebrated Paul Saufkie, Sr, his grandfather.
Ruben says that through his pieces, “[I am] doing my best to share our Hopi teachings of finding balance, harmony and unity which leads to peace.”
This enchanting bracelet epitomizes that aim with grace and beauty.
A lovely swirling design first appears to be abstract, but reveals itself to include three iconic natural symbols of the Hopi world, placed symmetrically, on either side of the center turquoise.
From each end he has applied a silver eagle head, a turtle, and a hummingbird. Each of these beings relates to good luck, happiness, and plenty.
Eagles are guardians of the sky, and fly so high, they carry prayers up to the heavens.
As predators, and very accomplished hunters, they also convey these qualities to the Hopi people, leading to plenty to eat.
Turtles live in and near water, the most precious and rare substance in the arid desert of Hopi land. Water feeds crops, so again, happiness, good health and abundance follow.
Hummingbirds are not only delightful to watch, as they flit and dart; they help to pollinate plants, including edible ones. More happiness and health!
Centered between these two rows of creatures, is a luminous, almost translucent, natural Kingman turquoise in an unusual delicate hue.
It is set in a charmingly curved bezel, which corresponds to the petal -like scallops on the bracelet, itself.
Against the velvety matte and darkened silver background, the birds and turtles stand out in gleaming polished silver.
Each one is curvaceous, with flowing lines and forms, which creates a graceful, pattern that evokes the motions of the animals themselves: soaring, gliding through water, fluttering in air.
That magical turquoise, and the complex animation of the silver work, testify to the artistry of this younger Saufkie jeweler.
His illustrious forebears would be proud, and you will be thrilled to wear it.