This incredibly detailed versatile work of art can be worn as a pin or a pendant, created in the needlepoint technique that Zuni Pueblo has made famous. Finely cut coral gemstones have been painstakingly cut, arranged, and set with exceptional skill and patience.
- Pin/pendant handcrafted by Native American artists of the Southwest
- Sterling silver
- Pin closure and small hidden bail that can accommodate beads, cord, and chains that are less than 3/16”
- Pin/pendant measures 1” L x 1” W
- 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.
This pin and pendant combination was handcrafted in sterling silver and coral by skilled Native American artists. For centuries these artists have fashioned gemstones, stone, and shell into lasting jewelry pieces. Since learning silversmithing in the 19th century, Native American artists have been unmatched in their ability to arrange gemstones in sterling silver. From clusterwork to channel inlay, these artists have pioneered distinctive styles that showcase their lapidary and silversmithing excellence.
Clusterwork is a jewelry style that is unique to the Zuni people, and not found anywhere else in the world. Early Zuni jewelry resembled Navajo silverwork, but in the 1920s and 1930s, Zuni artisans developed a signature style that involved setting large groups of hand-cut gemstones into extremely intricate settings. The finely cut gems were often arranged in beautiful patterns that resembled flowers, snowflakes, or wagon wheels.
Though Zuni clusterwork is most closely associated with turquoise, jet, and coral, any gemstone may be used.
Petit point and needlepoint are two types of Zuni clusterwork and can be distinguished by the shape and size of the gemstones. Petit point refers to gems cut into round, oval, rectangle, pear, or square shapes, while needlepoint refers to gems that have been cut into a thin sliver or needle shape.
Clusterwork is an extremely time-consuming process, and fewer and fewer artists are taking the time to hand-cut their gemstones. A piece of Zuni cluster jewelry is an exquisite work of wearable art that showcases the unmatched lapidary skills of Zuni artists, and will be an heirloom for generations to come.Read our Native American Jewelry
For centuries, Native people had been fashioning beads from shells like spiny oyster, and the deep red Mediterranean coral quickly became a prized material. Santo Domingo Pueblo incorporated coral into heishi bead necklaces used for trade or adornment. Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo artists used the gem for ornament, and in necklaces worn in ceremonial dances. Coral was first set in silver in the late 19th century after the Navajo, Zuni, and Pueblo people learned silversmithing.
In the 1930s, traders encouraged its use by supplying it to Native artists, particularly the Zuni. Red is a sacred color for the Zuni, and they believe coral brings good luck and longevity to the wearer. Native Americans also consider the gem a sign of wealth and status because of its expense and rarity. Whether used alone or in combination with other valuable gems like turquoise, coral remains one of the iconic gemstones of Native American jewelry in 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. 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 work directly with artists or partner with trusted wholesalers who can provide documentation that their artists and artisans are of Native American heritage. 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, we stand behind the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have developed lasting relationships with artists, dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art. Inspiration: Many Native American artists are inspired by their rich cultural history and the traditions of art, dance, community and cuisine that have carefully been passed down for generations. From colorful shell bead work and mosaic inlay to Navajo weaving and Pueblo pottery, there are many art forms that are unique to the Pueblo people of New Mexico and tribes of the Southwest. Native American artists are inspired to preserve these traditional art forms, using them to tell stories of their history and culture while also preserving the high standards of craftsmanship that make their work distinctive, valuable and lasting.