This colorful pendant was handcrafted by Santo Domingo artist Damacio Chama and features a contemporary shell mosaic inlay design. Small tiles of Kingman turquoise, black jet and white mother of pearl have been inlaid on the upper portion of a striking orange spiny oyster shell, creating a sophisticated geometric pattern. The shell’s lower portion has been inlaid with unique accents of blue turquoise and synthetic opal. This bold, modern pendant pairs beautifully with turquoise nugget necklaces, graduated silver beads and liquid silver necklace styles
- Pendant handcrafted by Damacio Chama (Santo Domingo Pueblo)
- Kingman turquoise, white mother of pearl, black jet and synthetic opal inlaid on spiny oyster shell
- Shell mosaic inlay
- Pendant bail reinforced with PVC pipe
- Pendant measures 3-1/2” x 4-1/2”
- Pendant bail accommodates chains, beads and cords that are less then 3/4”
- 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.
Damacio Chama is a Santo Domingo artist who specializes in traditional and contemporary shell inlay jewelry.
Shell mosaic inlay jewelry is a signature style of Santo Domingo jewelers. Artists create shell mosaic inlay by attaching tiny gemstone tiles to a shell base, forming colorful and unique patterns. The technique can be traced back to early forms of jewelry unearthed at Anasazi sites throughout the Southwest, and many artists model their inlay designs after these early artifacts. Angie Reano Owen is credited with reviving the tradition of inlaid jewelry in Santo Domingo Pueblo in the 1970s, and today Santo Domingo mosaic inlay is one of the jewelry styles most sought after by collectors of Native American art.
Jewelry has been made and worn in the Southwest since prehistoric times. For thousands of years Native Southwestern people have 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 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, Native American artists draw upon both traditional and contemporary influences, and their shell, gemstone and silver jewelry is prized and collected by people around the world.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.