Chunk Turquoise Necklace Bears

Sterling silver and real Turquoise.

Necklace measures approximately 22-1/4" long, weighs 172 grams.

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This Mojave inspired necklace is expertly crafted with the finest Turquoise and hand forged sterling silver. The piece measures 22 1/4” in length, weighs 172 grams, and prominently features five intricately carved turquoise bears. The turquoise beads have been placed within a sequence of silver beads, accenting and framing the necklace. The piece is strongly held together by three strands of intertwined silver wire. Artist and jeweler Harry H. Begay, who hand crafted this item, is known to use unique and complicated methods in his work, favoring traditional styles of jewelry-making.

Customarily in the culture of western-dwelling Native Americans, turquoise represented peace, prosperity, and healing. Interestingly, many of these qualities are also considered spiritual attributes of bears. It was commonly believed that bears had a sort of supernatural influence, and the animal was perceived as a guide, it was also believed that The Great Bear served as the guardian of the western lands. It is no coincidence that the artist chose to incorporate the semblance of bears into an item prominently featuring turquoise. Likely, this piece is meant to call back to the perceived spiritual qualities of jewelry to Native American tribes.

Harry H. Begay began his craft in the mid-1900s. A descendent of the Navajo, he frequently incorporated the artistic style of his tribe, or that of the tribes which historically neighbored his own. The Mojave would have been one of these neighbors, who lived in the region of modern-day southern California near the original homeland of the Navajo. Begay has become recognizable for reinvigorating traditional Native American silversmithing techniques. Due to use of these classic techniques, Begay’s jewelry takes many times longer to craft, and when finished is much heavier and more durable than a typical commercial piece. Begay acquires his turquoise from the mines of Nevada.

Item #: 0010