Navajo artist Helen Tsosie handcrafted this necklace with iconic Southwestern gemstones. This single strand heishi necklace features black onyx beads interspersed with smaller oval beads of blue turquoise, a versatile and stylish pairing. Inspired by the traditional art of heishi, Tsosie has created a classic silhouette that complements the fashion of today with ease.
- Necklace handcrafted by Helen Tsosie (Navajo)
- Sterling silver
- Blue turquoise, black onyx, white shell
- Hook and eye closure
- Necklace measures 18” long x 1/4” 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.
Helen Tsosie is a Navajo artist who creates beautifully crafted bead necklaces in the Santo Domingo Pueblo style.
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.
Native Americans in the Southwest have been wearing beaded jewelry for centuries. The beaded tradition is most closely associated with Santo Domingo Pueblo, known for creating beautiful shell and gemstone beads by hand. These beads are called “heishi,” which means “shell” in the Santo Domingo language Keres. Necklaces with similar bead styles have been found in the ancient Anasazi sites Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, and heishi may be the oldest form of jewelry in New Mexico. Traditionally, heishi beads are smooth flat discs, but today the term is used to refer to any small beads that are strung together. Native American artists across the Southwest are known for handcrafting beautiful bead necklaces using iconic gemstones like turquoise, coral, jet and spiny oyster shell. Beaded jewelry continues to be a vibrant form, as artists create both traditional pieces and more contemporary pieces with non-traditional gemstones, new bead shapes, unexpected color combinations and unique necklace silhouettes.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.