Handcrafted by master jeweler Rodney Coriz of Santo Domingo Pueblo, this necklace is an enchanting multi-gemstone treasure. Small freeform beads of orange coral and spiny oyster shell are interspersed with larger beads of red branch coral, black and gray abalone, white mother of pearl, blue and green turquoise and lapis. Each gemstone and shell in this bold four-strand torsade necklace has been cut by hand by Coriz. It is a statement piece that complements modern fashion while carrying on Santo Domingo Pueblo’s distinguished legacy of jewelry-making.
- 4-strand bead necklace handcrafted by Rodney Coriz (Santo Domingo)
- Hand cut natural gemstone beads of orange coral, orange and purple spiny oyster shell, red branch coral, black and gray abalone, white mother of pearl, blue and green turquoise and lapis
- Tan cotton twine wrapped around necklace at back of neck for durability and comfort
- Necklace measures 38” long x 1” 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.
Rodney Coriz is a renowned jeweler from Santo Domingo Pueblo who does shell, bead and silver work in a variety of styles. He is known for his exceptional inlay work and colorful beaded pieces he creates with gemstones cut by hand. Throughout his career he has been inspired by the traditional techniques used by his mother and grandmother, who taught him bead-making. They created beads by grinding gems against rocks and made jewelry using handmade tools. Coriz studied metalsmithing at the Poeh Cultural Center in New Mexico, and his work has been shown at the Heard Museum and Millicent Rogers Museum.
Rodney Coriz was inspired by the Santo Domingo legacy of creating gemstone beads by hand, and this colorful statement necklace is a bold display of his lapidary skills. Coriz enjoys creating pieces that are fun, colorful and wearable, while still honoring the jewelry-making traditions of Santo Domingo Pueblo.
In Santo Domingo Pueblo, bead-making has been a central part of life for centuries. These beads are known as “heishi,” which means “shell” in the Santo Domingo language Keres. Most heishi beads are rolled into smooth flat discs, but heishi can refer to any small beads that have been made by hand. Heishi may be the oldest form of jewelry in New Mexico, and necklaces with similar bead styles have been found in the ancient Anasazi sites Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. The process is extremely labor intensive, and it can take up to two weeks to make a single strand of heishi beads. First, the shell or gemstone is sliced into strips, then clipped by hand into small squares. These unfinished beads are drilled and strung on a fine wire. Next, the artist turns the string of beads against a stone wheel to make them round, further shaping and smoothing with sand paper. Finally, the beads are run against a leather belt to achieve a fine polish. Today, fewer and fewer artists are creating their beads by hand, making true handcrafted heishi necklaces an extremely valuable piece for art and jewelry collectors.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, providing 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.