This sterling silver bracelet handcrafted by Picuris artist Tolpiyine Simbola was created using the repousse process. It features a series of diamond shapes resembling dragon skin.
Click here to see the artist talking about the process of jewelry-making in this interview with Shumakolowa staff.
- Bracelet handcrafted by Tolpiyine Simbola (Picuris Pueblo)
- Sterling silver
- Dragon Skinn
- Bracelet measures 1-1/8” wide with a 5-1/4” inside circumference and 1-1/8” opening
- Fits an average wrist
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Tolpiyine Simbola, meaning Red Sun in Tiwa, is a silversmith from Picuris Pueblo. He was taught the jewelry-making process at age 12 by his mother. Growing up traditionally, but also having influences from the modern world, inspired some of the contemporary designs that Simbola is currently developing. All pieces are handmade, making each piece a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Many Native American artists working today are inspired by the interplay between traditional and contemporary styles. In their work they feel it is important to honor their history, heritage, and culture, including the art forms and techniques passed down through generations of Pueblo families. By mixing and matching techniques, materials, and themes that are contemporary and traditional, they create inspiring work that has made the modern Native American art world extremely vibrant.
Jewelry has been made and worn in the Southwest since prehistoric times. For thousands of years Native Southwestern people made mosaic inlay and beads of turquoise, shell, bone, or stone. Metal arrived with the Spanish. Native Americans acquired metal ornaments through trade, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that Navajo and Zuni artisans learned the craft from Mexican blacksmiths and silversmiths. Their early silver jewelry creations were plain, with simple engraved, stamped, or punched designs. Turquoise was first used in silver around 1880.
By the turn of the 20th century, silversmithing was widespread across the Southwest, and Native artists were making more sophisticated pieces like concho belts, and squash blossom and naja necklaces. The Navajo soon became known for their use of silver, emphasizing silver-heavy designs with only a few gemstones, while the Zuni focused on stone work, featuring finely cut clusters of gems in complex patterns. The Hopi and Pueblo tribes also developed distinctive jewelry styles in the early 1900s. Today, silver jewelry is an iconic image of the Southwest.Read our Native American Jewelry Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, and to provide a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes, and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft.
Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.