Hanging a rare shell around one’s neck was a very ancient form of adornment among the Natives of the Southwest. Originating in the far-off Gulf of Mexico or California, shells were precious trade goods, and often further embellished with tiny bits of equally precious stones and other shells.
This is a sophisticated, refined version of this type of age-old jewelry.
The natural spiny oyster shell has been de-spined and polished, by hand; the well-put-together turquoise, jet, and mother-of-pearl mosaic follows the form of the shell.
The bale is large enough to fit over handmade beads or many strands of larger or finer heishi. The striations of color running down to the bottom of the shell is its natural marking; Nature showing off her artistry.
Much more refined than the historic pieces, but just as beautifully dramatic – hang it on heishi – or whatever you like and let the compliments roll in!