Zuni Inlay Thunderbird Earrings

Zuni Inlay Thunderbird Earrings


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These sterling silver Thunderbird post earrings were made by Zuni jeweler, Breon Wallace.  The stones are channel inlaid (more about that below) with natural Sleeping Beauty turquoise, jet, mother of pearl, and red coral.   Soldered silver domes are accents on the head and tail.  More about Thunderbirds below.

Size: 1" H x .75" W

Thunderbirds are intelligent forces of nature with the power of thunder.  They are associated with lightening and rain.

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).