Amy (Quandelacy) Wesley Turquoise & Coral Zuni Hummingbird Symbol Button EarringsItem No: 31272
Demonstrating extraordinary craftsmanship, these one-of-a-kind coral and turquoise hummingbird eye symbol earrings were handcrafted by award-winning Zuni artist Amy (Quandelacy) Wesley. The sterling silver piece is a remarkable example of channel inlay, one of the signature techniques of Zuni Pueblo, creating a hummingbird eye symbol with incredible detail and dimension. At the center of the pendant is a abstract hummingbird eye, for which the Quandelacy family has become well known. This artistic pair of earrings is an inspiring celebration of the beauty of the natural world and a joyful addition to your collection of Native American jewelry.
- Earrings handcrafted by Amy (Quandelacy) Wesley (Zuni Pueblo)
- Sterling silver
- Blue turquoise and red coral
- Channel inlay
- Post and clutch closure
- Earrings measure 1/2” long x 1/2” wide
- 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.
Amy, born in 1953, began her work in the early 1970’s. Along with her former husband Dickie, who learned the craft from his mother, Ellen Quandelacy, she set about producing bolos, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings, and watch bands, variously featuring bears, mountain lions, and the abstract double hummingbird for which she is now famous. The latter, having been passed down to her from Ellen through Dickie, is produced by other Quandelacy family members, but it is executed in different ways.
Turquoise beads have been made in the Southwest for thousands of years. The Anasazi, the ancestors of today’s Pueblo Indian tribes, mined turquoise in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Chaco Canyon, a major Anasazi center, was at the center of turquoise trade routes stretching from the Pacific Northwest to Central America. Turquoise was not set in silver until the late 19th century after Navajo and Zuni artisans learned metalsmithing. The blue and green gem quickly became a favorite with Native American silversmiths, and was extremely popular with tourists visiting the Southwest in the early 20th century. Some Native Americans believe the gem was a gift from the spirits and call it the Sky Stone. Today, turquoise is one of the most iconic images of the Southwest and is still revered among Native American jewelry artists.
Native Americans of the Southwest were introduced to coral by the Spanish. 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 adornment 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.
Channel inlay is a distinctive jewelry technique closely associated with Native American people of the Southwest, particularly Zuni jewelers. When creating channel inlay jewelry, artists set precisely cut gemstones into pre-formed silver channels. The technique allows artists to use colorful combinations of gemstones in complex and creative patterns. Channel inlay requires masterful silversmithing and lapidary skills and is utilized by Native American jewelers to create magnificent jewelry pieces recognized for their craftsmanship and beauty as art.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.