Native American Jewelry

Large beaded raw turquoise necklace with many large stones interspersed with hand cut and drilled turquoise beads.  Lovely pale blue/green turquoise with white, tan, and black matrix. Necklace is approx 32" in total length with 80 graduated stones and 128 spacer beads.  Largest stone is approx. 1 1/4" x 3/4" x 1/4"  with the remainder graduating smaller toward the neck strap.

Excellent Condition. Twine has been repaired ( not re-strung ) in one place by local  jewelry artist Judy Derosa, using vintage cotton twine that matches the original twine very well.  The knot on the repair has been left visible so it can be easily found, but does not detract from the beauty of the piece. If the piece is for display twine should be left as-is.  If the piece is for regular wear, restringing is recommended for strength.

Circa 1950

Purchased at Fort Defiance, Arizona in 1955.

Seller noted as "Griswald"


Historical Note

Fort Defiance is located within the Navajo Nation, 25 miles northwest of Gallup, New Mexico.  The fort was established in 1851 as Arizona's first military post for the U.S. Army to patrol Navajo Country. Traditional Navajo horse races were held at the site until 1856, when an argument between whites and  Navajo racers caused troops to open fire, killing about 30 Navajos, leading to almost a decade of guerrilla warfare in the area.

 In 1861, the fort was abandoned, then reoccupied in the fall of 1863 by Kit Carson and companies of New Mexico Volunteers sent to crush Navajo resistance.  In 1864, the so-called Navajo War ended, and once again the fort was deserted.  Roaming bands who had eluded Carson's troops burned the fort, leaving only the thick sod and rubble walls.  

In 1868 the fort was selected as the site of the Navajo Indian Agency.  

 In 1936, the agency was relocated to Window Rock, Arizona.

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