Santa Domingo necklace with Kingman Turquoise
3-strand short necklace is handcrafted by a Santa Domingo artist. Genuine turquoise heishi stones make up the most of the necklace with sterling silver beads spaced throughout. The necklace measures approximately 22″ with a 2″ chain extension. Matching earrings on shown on a silver french wire and measure approximately 2″ in length when dangling
Santa Domingo necklace with Kingman Turquoise Details
Santa Domingo 3-strand necklace with genuine turquoise
SANTA DOMINGO HEIS
The literal meaning of heishi is “shell” and specifically refers to pieces of shell which have been drilled and ground into beads and then strung into necklaces. More and more frequently, however, heishi (pronounced hee-shee) has come to refer to hand-made tiny beads made of any natural material.
The origin of heishi is fascinating indeed, and is inescapably linked to the ancient history of the people most proficient in its making, the Santo Domingo and San Felipe Pueblo Indians. It is safe to say that this is the oldest form of jewelry in New Mexico (and perhaps in North America), pre-dating the introduction of metals. Centuries ago, the shells used by the Pueblo Indians to make beads were obtained in trade from the Gulf of California.
When one looks at a string of heishi, the first reaction is frequently “how on earth can a person do that?” or “to be so perfect, it must be done by machines.” The truth is, if it seems exquisitely perfect, it was most likely made by the hands of a highly-skilled, extremely patient craftsperson.
Kingman Turquoise originates in the Mineral Park Mining District near Kingman, Arizona. One of the largest domestic turquoise mines, it is found in a large open pit copper mine in the high desert country. The Kingman Mine district was first mined by Native Americans; it was part of the most extensive prehistoric workings in Arizona.