Western fashion, includes lots of turquoise jewelry. Turquoise has historical significance in western fashion and you don’t have to look further than the #turquoisetuesday hashtag that floods social media to see its current relevance.
Native American’s believed turquoise stones protected them and often wore them into battle, when fallen ill and during ceremonies. The squash blossom necklace that looks like an upside down horseshoe, is called the “Naja” by the Navajo, is found in various design forms throughout the world in different cultures. In terms of Native American culture the necklace design is a symbol of acculturation. The center piece is called the “Naja” (nazhah), which in Navajo means “crescent shape”, these ornamentations adorned the bridle pieces of the horses of the Spanish. The Navajo adopted the Naja on their horses headstall, the front center band of the horse bridle. In the 1930’s it was said that every Navajo who could afford a silver headstall had one on their horse.
Through the Spanish, the Navajo silversmiths were acculturated by these subtle influences and the Squash Blossom necklace design emerged. Fast forward to the 1970’s when Native American design and jewellry was on trend and booming. Squash Blossom’s were one of the most popular jewelry purchases of that time, many of the authentic “vintage” necklaces that you find on sale are from that era.
So if you’re interested in investing in turquoise for your collection, a squash should definitely be on the list. Just looking to add some western appeal to an outfit for an event or during stampede? There are many fun squash replica’s that can be found at affordable price points as well.
Cow Town Style Exhibition- Squash Blossom from Classic Rodeo Boutique