na001514Regular price $640.00 Save $-640.00
This Navajo sterling silver, vintage necklace has a tufa cast naja of double Rainbow Men. There are three natural red coral cabochons set in the naja. There are twelve crosses, each one with beautiful stamp work and a natural red coral cabochon. The beads are all handmade and end with a hook and eye clasp. We think this was made between the 1950s and 1970s. It has been lightly polished to maintain the patina that comes with age. More about the process of tufa cast jewelry and najas below.
Size: 26" Long - Naja 2.25" H x 2" W - Crosses 2" H (includes bale) x 1.5" W
Tufa Cast Process: Tufa is a volcanic stone which can be as dense as chalk which has an organic texture. The first thing a jeweler does is examine a piece of tufa for any tiny fractures. If it looks good, the tufa is cut in half and, if there is a design, it is carved into the tufa. There is a pour hole carved into the top and several narrow vents carved into each side. The two pieces are then bound together tightly and molten silver or gold is poured through the hole at the top. If there are any microscopic cracks, the tufa explodes when the metal is poured in and the process has to begin again.
Najas are a prominent symbol in Navajo jewelry and are always the center piece in squash blossom necklaces. I was told they are a feminine symbol, and their crescent shape represents the arms of a matriarch and the generations of the past and future. It symbolizes ease of movement, paths of least resistance for the family, even during challenging times. There is a sense of open arms in the shape of the naja that is soothing. Some najas have hands on each end.