The artistry of Navajo jewelry is vivid in this highly detailed bolo handcrafted by Ernest Rangel.
The sterling silver buckle was created using the traditional jewelry technique of tufa casting, and all the raised details and gemstones have been meticulously added by hand.
Natural blue Royston turquoise gemstones adds a vibrant touch of color, while unique sterling symbols tie the design to Navajo culture.
This is a classic piece for men and women who appreciate the beauty of fine Native American art.
- Bolo tie handcrafted by Ernest Rangel (Navajo)
- Sterling silver
- Tufa cast
- Bolo tie measures 2-3/8” high x 1-3/4” wide on 36” black leather braided cord
- 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.
Ernest Rangel is an award-winning Navajo silversmith from Gallup, New Mexico, who is also a professional rodeo cowboy. He began to make jewelry as a teenager, learning from his mother. He is known for his dramatic and sometimes rugged jewelry style; sterling silver belt buckles and bracelets are considered his signature pieces. Often created through traditional tufa casting, Rangel’s work includes both traditional and contemporary designs. See Featured Artist Page
Turquoise beads have been made in the Southwest for thousands of years. The Ancestral Pueblo people (formerly referred to as Anasazi), ancestors of today’s Pueblo tribes, mined turquoise in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Chaco Canyon, a major Ancestral Puebloan 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.
Tufa casting is a generations-old method of jewelry-making developed by Navajo silversmiths. Tufa, found in New Mexico and Arizona, is a porous volcanic stone that is easy to cut and carve. In the casting process, a design is hand-carved into tufa stone, creating a negative space where molten silver or gold can be poured. After casting, the piece is refined and decorated by hand. Typically, tufa molds last for only one or two castings, making this a fragile process that is practiced by only the most skilled artists. Jewelry created through this process can be identified easily by the distinctive texture left on the metal by the tufa stone during casting.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 40 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.