This sterling silver bear is dressed for spring! Natural blue and green turquoise, and red, orange, and purple spiny oyster shell are channel inlaid between thinly cut jet and sterling silver. Designs on the back include two bear paws and a lightening shaped heartline. More about bears and channel inlay below. 18" sterling silver chain is included. Navajo handmade.
Size: 1" in diameter, includes bale
Bears are the guardians of the western gate in Zuni Pueblo. They are associated with healing at all levels, protection, and a reminder to restore oneself during the winter months. In some traditions a part of the bear is rubbed all over infants to imbue them with power, strength, and good health.
Channel inlay jewelry is a process used extensively by Native American jewelers, particularly those in Zuni Pueblo. Many other talented jewelers from other tribes in the Southwest also make channel inlay jewelry. The metal channel, usually silver, is soldered onto the back to create the design. Afterward, the stones are cut to fit into each section. It is an exacting process which shows in the beauty of the work of the finished piece(s).