Atglen, PA–Whether you call this style Southwest, Santa Fe, Navajo (be careful with that one, though, just ask Urban Outfitters), you can’t deny it’s a timely mini-trend of the moment.
But those who don’t want to wrap themselves in Southwest blanket-print fabric can still capture the theme by wearing a few Native American Indian rings.
Southwestern Indian Rings (Schiffer Publishing) offers lots of inspiration. The book showcases a broad variety of American Indian rings from the southwestern region of the United States providing a design history from early artifacts to contemporary innovations.
A Rich History
350 color photographs of collectors, dealers, and traders’ Southwestern Indian rings demonstrate the story of changing native design.
Shortly after the Civil War, Native American artisans made silver rings sets with turquoise, coral, jet, mother-of-earl, and colored shell. They added lapis lazuli, malachite, onyx and petrified wood over the decades. More recently, artisans started using less traditional gold, opals and diamonds.
The coffeetable book explores key developments in Native American ring design; materials and methods of construction; definitions of historical and vintage rings; master innovators; and the transition from craft to wearable art since 1980. Images include works by Navajo (also known as Diné) and Pueblo artists, as well as Apache, Northern Cheyenne, and Sonoran Desert Native jewelers.
Author Paula A. Baxter is a professor of humanities at Berkeley College and also wrote “The Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry and Southwest Silver Jewelry” (Schiffer Publishing) plus numerous articles on American Indian arts and design. Paula has collaborated with her husband and photographer Barry Katzen, whose photographs reflect his experience creating landscapes and art imagery.
Baxter’s book sells for $34.99 and can be purchased at www.schifferbooks.com as well as other sellers.