Kewa-Santo Domingo Pueblo has long been known as the center of fine heishi, and the Rosetta family, as leading heishi makers.
Heishi – strands of stone, shell, and now, metal, tubes – are among the earliest forms of Southwestern Indian jewelry, perfected primarily by the Pueblos along the Rio Grande river.
No longer the clunky chunks of stones and shells of yore, contemporary heishi, like this elegant necklace, is refined and smooth.
Making heishi is both labor-intensive and material-intensive.
There is a pile of debris for every non-metal bead since the material must be sliced, cut into tiny squares that are drilled individually, and then strung and ground down into the minuscule tubes you see here.
The end result can be worn with everything, day and night, by men as well as women.
Heishi, such as this necklace, can even support a pendant, and can also stack with other beads and necklaces.
Here, pristine white Italian Marble is the star, accented by nine silver heishi beads near the center of the necklace. The shiny silver against the cool, flat white of the marble is the key design feature of this minimalistic necklace and makes it easy to dress up or down.
Simple but superb, this is a fabulous piece by an even more fabulous artist!