Zuni Deer Kachina Pin/Pendant — Magic to Wear

Twin Rocks Trading Post carries one-of-a-kind, quality southwest jewelry

Zuni Deer Katchina Inlay Jewelry

This piece of Southwest Zuni Jewelry is sterling silver inlay, and we at Twin Rocks consider it a particular find! This Deer Kachina that can be worn as a pin or pendant.  Set with green malachite, the blackest jet, mother of pearl, coral from the faraway ocean, and the iconic Southwest stone, turquoise.   It is a true beauty.

Expertly crafted by artist Andrea Lonjose Shirley, it may be the perfect gift, and it’s certainly an heirloom waiting to happen!

Another type of mosaic work, called overlay inlay, this piece features two pieces of silver.  One is for the backing and the second, with a pattern cut from the silver, is soldered on top.  Instead of leaving the silver empty, as in Hopi overlay, zuni artists fill the opening with stones laid in to form a mosaic design.

It’s an intricate process and it takes a steady hand, a fine eye, and an imagination that is boundless.

If you’re cruising around the Great Southwest, you’ve just finished ooooo-ing at the Grand Canyon, or you’re about to explore Mesa Verde, stop by Twin Rocks.  The art is amazing, the folks are friendly and there’s a cool drink with your name on it at the Twin Rocks Café.

Southwest Jewelry for Women and Men

 

Unique silver jewelry for women and men.  Southwestern silver and turquoise, each piece of wearable art is a masterpiece.

Silver Navajo jewelry with carved rock art and turquoise.

At Twin Rocks Trading Post, Southwest Jewelry begins with ancient Puebloan stone-cutting techniques found in today’s Santo Domingo jewelry.  There is also stone inlay integral to contemporary expressions in Zuni jewelry. We also love silver jewelry techniques mastered by Navajo and Hopi artisans.

WATCH THIS PIECE OF JEWELRY BEING MADE! The designs are rock art and creation stories.

Southwest Jewelry is usually silver and turquoise. Our stones are high quality, dramatic, and diverse.  Some of our turquoise, such as Carico, is green! Other stones are rich with gold veins.  Top grade stones are, among others, from the nearby Bisbee, Demale, Carico Lake, Kingman, Blue Gem and #8 mines.

After the stones are polished and shaped, they’re translated into outstanding southwestern jewelry for women and men. What is your passion? Southwestern jewelry covers the gamut from necklaces, bracelets, buckles, earrings and rings.  Beyond turquoise, we seek the finest in contemporary jewelry using coral, sugilite, lapis, malachite, charoite, and a diversity of agates.

Stop by Twin Rocks Trading Post here in Bluff, UT, halfway between Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon. Each piece of jewelry is unique.  Every stone has a story that touches your heart and imagination.

beautiful woman, beautiful bracelet

Navajo Wind Energy Basket and Healing

Navajo Wind Energy Basket Relates to Holy Wind, our Breath, and Kinship

Navajo Wind Energy Basket Relates to Holy Wind, our Breath, and Kinship

Just like the Western notion of the soul, Holy Wind exists everywhere. Every living thing is part of it.

The basket pictured is made by Navajo artist Chris Johnson.  As a member of the Betty Rock Johnson family, Chris has been schooled by the finest. Using richly traditional colors of red and black and a wind energy theme, Chris had made an interesting crossover piece. Chris’ weavings do not last long so don’t hesitate.

Holy Wind is the underlying element that unifies all beings. People, deer, buffalo, spiders, stars, clouds, goatheads, fish and pinon trees — everything — are all united by breath and wind. The singe soul sings within it, and us, all.

Because we have kinship with all living beings, we also have the responsibilities that come along with those connections. This means that the earth, animals and plants that live on it (as well as the sky with its entities and phenomena) are related and will take care of us. And, they will provide for us as long as we recognize that we’re responsible for being part of the earth and the sky, too. It’s a two-way street.

Breath and speech are intimately related to the concept of Holy Wind, or nilch’i. There is a holy quality to breath that we don’t often recognize in our culture. Traditional Navajos think of breathing as a sacred act that unite all living beings.

It is possible for a patient in a healing ceremony to breathe in the life-giving power of the sun outside of the hogan, because the chanter’s breath rolls inside the hogan. The intimate relationship between speech and breath is a life principle that makes the very act of speech act sacred.

Words have a sacred, creative power. In Navajo creation stories, the Holy People spoke, sang, and prayed the world into existence. The uniting power of Holy Wind is the same force that fills the Holy People themselves with life, movement, speech, and behavior.

We have direct access to the thought and speech of the Holy Ones through breath and words. That Holy Wind, or soul, is our inner form, and so it is with all living beings. Beautiful.

The basket above is made by Navajo artist Chris Johnson.  As a member of the Betty Rock Johnson family, Chris has been schooled by the finest. Using richly traditional colors of red and black and a wind energy theme, Chris had made an interesting crossover piece. Chris’ weavings do not last long so don’t hesitate.

Kokopelli… The Shocking Truth!

Kokopelli, the fertility god of the southwest and also an ancient trickster

Kokopelli, Wooing Women of the Southwest

Kokopelli was a frisky and fruitful guy.  As a matter of fact, you could say that he was the Johnny Appleseed of the Southwest.

His trade route was large.  He played his music and spread his seed from Southern Utah to Mexico. To the Navajo, Kokopelli is called “Water Sprinkler”, and he is a symbol of fertility in both the natural and human sense.

To the Hopi he is the symbol of the Flute clan, and he adorns pottery, baskets, and Katsinas. And, he is always surrounded by humor. This funny-looking being, with his back hunched, carrying seeds, was somehow able to enchant women into loving him and mesmerize men out of their most prized possessions.

Many women considered it to be an honor to be chosen as his “dreamtime companion” when he stayed in a village until he moved on. If you’d had trouble having a baby, Kokopelli would take care of that. He fathered children left and right.

The Hopi people believe Kokopelli gets his energy and heat from the very center of the earth. And, coming from the center of the earth, he brings love and fertility to all plants and animals.

Kokopelli has the spirit of the Trickster. This hunchbacked flute player is sometimes called the Casanova of the Cliff Dwellers.

His image was cleaned up hundreds of years ago by Catholic priests as they arrived in the Southwest. But, he is still here, etched in petroglyphs, playing his flute for everyone to enjoy.

We believe that Kokopelli is with us still, just beyond our reach but inside our dreams, and that he will continue his journey and trade route into the future.

Oh, magical southwest… We love you.

When Navajo Holy People Made Horse

The Navajo Creation Story of Horse

Here we’d like to share with you a wonderful story, for stories jumped to life at the same time as paintings. This is the Navajo story of First Horse.

“When the Holy People first made the horse, it was a complete thing, but it would not come to life.  They tried to get it to rise up on its strong legs, but it would not rise. Caterpillar was asked to help. ‘How can I help?’ he asked.

“’You know,’ one of the Holy People said, ‘where the sacred flints are kept.’”

“’Yes, this is true. But I am pretty slow getting around.’”

“Then the Holy People prayed over Caterpillar and he became Butterfly. Swiftly he flew to the Mountain Where Flint Is Kept. After gathering four flints, he returned to the Holy People and put the flints into the hooves of the horse.

The great horse stirred, quivered, and came to life. Then it surged, leaped fully into life, struck the air with its hooves, and galloped off into the clouds.

“’Look,” a Holy Person said. ‘The horse makes the marks of Butterfly when it dances on its hooves!’ And it has been that way ever since.”

Navajo people believe that there are Five Horses of the Sun Father. And, they believe that they are a way of telling time, Navajo-style. White shell and pearl horses represent dawn, turquoise is noon, red shell is sunset, and jet or coal is night.

(Twin Rocks Trading Post would like to acknowledge the book: An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navajo Language, 1929; The Franciscan Fathers.)

Stop in at Twin Rocks Café. (You might be able to pick up a copy of the Father’s book.) After you’ve enjoyed your Navajo Taco, stroll out the door and down the path to the Twin Rocks Trading Post. We’d be happy to share paintings by L. Holiday with you – they’re a favorite at our southwest gallery.

Enjoy this day of horses and all things mystical and beautiful!

Beautiful Native Art is Happy

Craig.Watson.and.Friends

http://animoto.com/play/dadVc0l2zPG6ZvxJ8D1tKw                 PLAY ME!

What could be happier than beauty?  Nothing we can think of.  (Except love) Click the video above and…

Enjoy!

Mary Holiday Black, Legendary Basket Weaver, visits Twin Rocks

VIDEO: Legendary Mary Holiday Black shares meaning of water vessel with Twin Rocks Trading Post

Mary Holiday Black, Legendary Master Basket Weaver visits Twin Rocks Trading Post, Bluff, UT

Mary Holiday Black, Legendary Master Basket Weaver

Above, watch the video of Mary Holiday Black, legendary Navajo Basket Weaver, speaking with our queen of Twin Rocks, Priscilla.  She’s talking with Priscilla about the ceremonial meaning of the vessel and the weaving of it .  Big stuff and the conversation of two delightful women.

Okay, the video is longer than the media gurus say it should be, but you are watching an artist here, a Navajo icon, a glory and a wonder.

“One of the reasons we want to keep basket-making going among our people,” Mary says, “is because baskets are important when a person gets healed, to bring rain, for weddings, the Fire Dance, the Seven-Day Ceremony.”

Mary Black is largely responsible for the preservation and renaissance of the art of Navajo basketry. She  truly is a legend in her own time.

Mary received the Utah Governor’s 1995 Folk Art Award and, in September of 1996, she received a $10,000 National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  It was presented to her in Washington D.C. by First Lady Hillary Clinton.

The matriarch of a large and talented family of basket weavers, Mary Holiday Black has preserved the tradition of Navajo basketry.  And, she has revolutionized it with her daring creativity. Recognized by experts as the nation’s preeminent Navajo basket weaver, Mary’s pieces are highly valued collector’s items.

Her story is worth telling.  In 1960 there were only about a dozen active basket makers on the Navajo reservation.  Most women had turned to the more profitable art of rug weaving.  One of those basket weavers was Mary Black. Taught to weave by an elderly relative when she was 11, Mary has spent over half of a century creating baskets for sacred ceremonial purposes as well as the art world.

She shares her knowledge with anyone willing to learn. Nine of Mary’s eleven children have followed in her footsteps, becoming world-class weavers in their own right. Each ceremonial basket has a story. ‘There are many basket stories,” Mary says. “If we stop making the baskets, we lose the stories.”

And, each ceremonial basket has a song that accompanies it. Mary knows the songs and other tribal lore because her parents, Teddy and Betty Holiday, were medicine people. Strict tribal taboos dictating how and when ceremonial baskets can be woven contribute to their scarcity. Mary has successfully challenged some of the taboos, arguing in favor of preserving cultural history through basketry. (Here we cheer for Mary!)

Mary was one of the first people to consider weaving baskets with imaginative designs targeted toward the Indian art collector’s market. Many of her baskets depict traditional beliefs, stories or legends.  Some are inspired by Navajo sandpaintings.

Working daily, a basket may take up to four months to complete. (Unimaginable and inspiring in our hurry-hurry world.) Mary’s hands often ache from the strain of weaving because she keeps constant pressure on a basket’s sides so they will curve upward when it’s finished. ‘These days my hands get tired, and I have to light a fire and pray for energy,” she has said. ‘They are not as quick as when I was a child!”

Mary Holiday Black is indeed a treasure, and we are honored to count her as a friend.  We at Twin Rocks are honored to offer her baskets and help keep the fusion of Navajo tradition and cutting edge art alive.