Vintage Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace


A simply stunning Navajo crafted heavyweight turquoise and sterling squash blossom necklace.

The inverted crescent pendant on squash-blossom necklaces, called the 'Naja' by the Navajo,  is found in various design forms throughout the world cultures.  As a crescent, this form goes back as far as the Paleolithic period.  It is mentioned in the book of Judges as an ornament worn around the necks of camels. But through contact with either the Spanish and/or the various Plains Tribes, the Navajo adopted the symbol of the inverted crescent, and later, the Naja moved into the realm of necklaces.  

This necklace itself features "squash blossoms" up the beaded portion. It is believed that the flower symbol that we commonly see in necklaces was brought to the Navajo at the turn of the century, the 1800's to the 1900's.   The blossom is represented with long petals beginning to open and a sphere attached at the base of the flower and is a representation of the Spanish-Mexican pomegranate.

This squash blossom features a single large naja pendant with seven pieces of blue-green American turquoise surrounded by beaded sterling borders. The necklace is comprised of seamed Navajo "pearls" - handmade beads with sterling squash blossom accents. It also features ten more pieces of turquoise. This piece dates back to the 1940s but has since been strung and restored for modern wear. It's finished with a hook clasp. The turquoise does have prominent inclusions. This beautiful vintage sample of Navajo jewelry is in good condition.

Sterling silver and turquoise. Naja pendant is approx 2.5" x 2.5". Necklace is 25" long.

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