Cited in a major reference book on American Indian jewelry “… as one of the greatest overlay jewelers in history”, the notice goes on to say that Chalmers Day’s “jewelry takes one on a journey into the Hopi world.” This handsome pendant demonstrates both statements are true.The largest figure is Kolawesi, the water serpent, harbinger of waterways. The dots on his sinuous body represent water drops; there are marshy reeds on either side of him, and a plant form on his head. These emphasize the water theme, and the hoped-for result of water: crops. A spray of stylized feathers juts out from the left of his head, representing prayers for enough water. The short parallel lines etched on the right edge of his body also mimic rainfall. Down below, more parallel lines, dots and feathers, as well as a raincloud with falling rain, and stepped rain and lightning symbols, reinforce the fervent wish for enough water to reap an abundant harvest. This results in happiness, good health and prosperity, embodying good luck. The tiny human is shown with a basket of corn, signifying the desired result of enough water.Every element of this intricate design is sawn out, and overlaid on the background silver, which has been darkened, for contrast, and textured, too. The raised figures and symbols are highly polished, so they stand out in more ways than one. As the equivalent of the cherry on top, a beautiful, pure blue, natural Kingman water web turquoise dangles gracefully below, its oval-ish form echoing the general shape of the silver pendant. This creates harmony within the piece. A lovely example of this great artist’s precise and poetic work, at an approachable price.
Sterling Silver, Natural Kingman Turquoise
Width: 1″ Height: 4″