Tuesday, May 13, 2008

in search of maggie

Navajo child wearing traditional jewelry.

My husband's family has their roots in the West. His ancestors were Native American with names like "Shot in the Eye". I gather they were a motley crew, but had an aesthetic eye for the fine art of silversmithing. The entire family, including myself, like to buy, wear and ogle Indian jewelry. There are a few squash blossom pieces that have been passed down from previous generations. They haven't made it into my jewelry box yet, and may never come my way, being just a daughter-in-law. Over the last ten years I have been adding to my own collection. A trip to Sedona usually sets me back more than I want to mention here, so I started making my own pieces similar to the things I have seen.

Santo Domingo Pueblo Earrings

Turquoise slab earrings are a very traditional native American style. It happens to be my favorite style, and I own three pairs. Because Santo Domingo Pueblo is located near the ancient Cerrillos turquoise mines, the village people have a distinguished history of making fine jewelry and heishi. The Santo Domingo people are highly skilled in the art of shaping turquoise. I would love to learn how to shape and polish turquoise, but until then, I want to support the native people by buying directly from them.

The best slabs to be had (in my opinion) are made by a woman named Maggie Garcia. I have been trying to track Maggie down for some time. She is a fairly allusive character. I like her slabs because the tend to be thicker than others and thus more stable and less likely to break. In the past, I have bought her turquoise beads through a retailer, but I would really like to deal directly with her.

Here is Chief Medicine-Crow sporting some slab earrings. They look to be either shell or spiny oyster.

I had never given much thought to the injustice that the Native Americans suffered until I married into my husband's family. It is however, a common topic when we are together and I find that now, I am just as passionate about it as the rest of them. I love the passive defiance of the woman in this photo. Notice the American flag used as window covering.

The news from the home front is that this Friday is Father's and Son's Camp Out. That means that yours truly will be 1: going out for sushi 2: watching a Doris Day movie 3: shopping for gems on Ebay into the wee hours 4: sleeping-in 5: going for a long run and 6: shopping. What can I say? The boys need to bond, so I'll graciously let them go.

My Boys


Jill said...

Can I just tell you again how much I LOVE your blog! You inspire me! You are so creative, knowledgeable and I adore the way you write. Thanks for being my friend! I love and miss you enormously!

Enjoy your time with Sugar Daddy and the boy away. It's our Fathers and Sons outing this weekend, too. Kate is EXTREMELY excited about this and has already planned a number of things for us to do, including playing games, getting takeout, going for pedicures together and "staying up late." Sounds fun, huh? Wish you were here to enjoy it with us.

Looking forward to your visit in June! You live too far away.

Lots of love ... Mama J

Anonymous said...

Ok! This little technicality of Father Sons has got my panties in a little pinch. Where's my little break? Why does it have to be so gender specific? Oh Well, I'll have to petition Big John to do some sort of mock campout. yeah right like that's ever gonna happen.

Moving on....I love those earrings, why in all these years have I never know that he's got native american ancestry? Or is that why you guys made all those trips to sedona?? Connecting the dots just isn't happening with me these days. Wish I could meet up with you and do some "retail therapy" too. Someday!