Time to Give Thanks: A Mini Guide to Traditional Native American Clothing and Accessories

Categories: Fashion

Turquoise Bracelet.jpg
Photo by Kate Crowley
Turquoise is often worn everyday by Navajo women and men and members of other tribes as well.
Turquoise

The way Native people traditionally and currently adorn themselves often helps them share who they are with others around them.

"As Navajo, turquoise is sacred," relates Roessel. "[We] wear it to honor our traditions and the origins of our people."

Turquoise jewelry is often passed down to daughters and nieces from others in the family. It's mined in the Southwest, is often named by the mine it came from and experts can often identify the mine by looking at the stone.

For example, Bisbee turquoise usually has a hard chocolate brown colored matrix. Some shades are more green than blue, and the stone is held in importance by many tribes who traditionally use it in jewelry, carvings and other adornments.

Once you understand the importance of turquoise to Native peoples, its easy to see why items like fake turquoise necklace Kloss wore on the Victoria's Secret runway don't really connect with the meaning of turquoise in Native communities.

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Heard Museum

2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

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