The Hopi and Their Jewellery

The Hopi and Their Jewellery

Hopi Silver Overlay Jewellery

The jewellery of the Hopi has a mode distinct from that of the opposite Native People. The Hopi are recognized for the usage of silver overlay, which makes use of a way of fusing two layers of silver. The attention-catching and infrequently elaborate design is on the highest layer, whereas the underside layers serves as a base.

It was not so way back that the Hopi developed this system. In reality the Hopi weren’t a lot into the making of silver. Of their relative isolation on the northeastern Arizona excessive plains, or mesas, they had been considerably firewalled (so to talk) in opposition to exterior influences. Even their interplay with different Native People was restricted.

Silversmithing of Native People

So whereas the Navajo realized and developed their silversmithing expertise, a way dropped at the south-west of the American continent by the Spaniards, and which was then taken up by the Zuni, the Hopi had been nonetheless training their very own inventive heritage primarily based on weaving and pottery. They had been additionally adept on the making of kachina dolls, for which they deservedly stay famend.

Time, in fact, wouldn’t stand nonetheless, and even reliably remoted communities started to open up. Buying and selling and commerce grew and the Hopi by way of their interplay with the Zuni uncovered them to the craft of silver jewellery, at which the Zuni had been now expert. Lanyade, a Zuni, realized his silversmithing from the Navajo, and started to promote his silver jewellery. He travelled among the many Hopi and Sikyatala grew to become his pupil in 1898.


Sikyatala is credited to be the primary Hopi silversmith. It’s reported that whereas Lanyade was on the Hopi reservation for 4 months, making and promoting his silver jewellery items, Sikyatala was studiously observing and studying from the grasp at shut vary.

Sikyatala then started to make use of the approach of creating silver jewellery. Different Hopi additionally started to comply with and emulate the work of Sikyatala. In time the Hopi developed their very own type, that of utilizing overlay silver.

Hopi Silversmiths Paul Saufie and Fred Kabote

This method didn’t a lot evolve as was created by the Hopi silversmiths Paul Saufkie and Fred Kabote who had been concerned in a program on the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1938. After World Conflict II the Hopi Guild was shaped to encourage a program of silversmith coaching .

The designs of the silver overlay jewellery of the Hopi had been additionally distinctive in that they tailored designs from the previous damaged pottery items of the 15th and 16th centuries. New motifs had been additionally integrated by the Hopi Guild, together with kachina symbols.

The cross-currents in Native American jewellery nowdays imply that there are cross-influences as effectively. And completely different kinds from the completely different currents might effectively discover themselves evident in any piece of recent American Native jewellery.

However the fascinating growth of Native American silversmiths and their crafts, of their completely different streams of inventive design, doesn’t completely obscure the unique creativity. The silver overlay approach was the creation of the Hopi, even when it could now be employed by others.

Michael Kabotie

In ending, it could be famous that the work of Fred Kabote was continued by his son Michael Kabote (additionally spelled 'Kabotie'). Michael Kabotie not too long ago handed away on the age of 67. He was a trail-blazer within the Native American nice arts motion, each as a Hopi artist and jeweler. His work had been well-received, depicting conventional Hopi life. For various years, he additionally tapped the Hopi overlay approach on the Idyllwild Arts program in Southern California.

Source by Abd Laziz

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