In stunning fashion, acclaimed Santo Domingo Pueblo jeweler Ellouise Padilla, has created this pendant and necklace that beautifully pairs an ancient jewelry-making technique with modern design. The heishi necklace features black jet and brown jasper cut by hand by the artist, carrying on the Santo Domingo legacy of bead-making. The large-bail triangular pendant features gemstones of of black jet and brown jasper. The pendant can be removed from the necklace, allowing you to wear both pieces with other items in your collection. A contemporary update of a traditional jewelry style, this versatile pendant necklace will complement both casual and formal wear.
- Pendant necklace handcrafted by Ellouise Padilla (Santo Domingo Pueblo)
- Sterling silver
- Black jet and brown jasper
- Hook and eye closure
- Necklace measures 18” long x 1/4” wide; pendant measures 1” long x 3/4” wide
- Pendant bail accommodates chains, beads and cords that are less than 1/4”
- Pendant can be removed from necklace
- 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.
Ellouise Padilla is an acclaimed jewelry maker from Santo Domingo Pueblo, known for her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and couture interpretation of the ancient art of heishi. She learned jewelry-making from her parents, Don and Nancy Crespin, both renowned artists themselves. The Crespins taught their five children the incredibly labor-intensive process of making heishi beads by hand, and Padilla and her family take pride in carrying on a revered art. Padilla’s one-of-a-kind reversible pendant necklaces are one of her signature jewelry styles, collected around the world for their versatility and feminine style. See Featured Artist Page
Mosaic inlay jewelry is a signature style of Santo Domingo jewelers. Artists create 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.
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. 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.