The rich and extensive history of squash blossom necklaces extends more than 300 years ago, but since the Spanish first introduced the art to Native Americans, they have taken the time and generations to truly make the art their own.
One way that Native Americans have succeeded in developing an identity with this style is through creating multicolor squash blossom necklaces. Multicolor jewelry has been a facet of the Native American people for generations. They firmly believe in using materials from the Earth and by developing the techniques in silverwork and stonecutting to bring a collection of precious stones like turquoise, coral, and tiger-eye into one piece.
The result is truly something stunning. Depending on the artist and tribe, the multicolor squash blossom necklace can take on a completely different energy. Typically, these necklaces were made of silver and then adapted to silver and turquoise through the Navajo tribe.
Some of the multicolor squash blossom necklaces made by the Navajo tribe utilize two major stones, in particular. The Navajo have always been acclaimed for their use of turquoise in jewelry, but they will often use coral as well to get a beautiful contrast. Both stones formed by nature in different environments to produce jewelry that is truly outstanding. The result is often a larger piece that catches the eye immediately and has an elegant appeal about it.
The Zuni tribe takes a different approach with their squash blossom necklaces. Their pieces are a lot more intricate, in that they feature traditional Native American symbolism. Instead of basic shapes leading to the main piece, Zuni artists might make those shapes from horses or snakes to get at a deeper meaning in their work. Since this necklace has a history of being worn by the horses of Spanish conquerors, many Native artists will use the horse symbol to draw connections to this historical fact and the history of were the piece originated.
Multicolor squash blossom necklaces are the perfect way to achieve elegance in an outfit and honor the history of the American Southwest all in one piece.