Hi Paula –
I am trying to find information about a sterling silver necklace. I bought it about 1975 and was told it was Hopi work from Third Mesa. I have been unable to find anything else like it after much searching and have no idea if that information is correct or if the necklace has any value. It is clearly handmade and has a hallmark stamp of a feather on the reverse of each pendant. Can you help me? Thanks very much!
First a little background. The Hopi, population approximately 10,000, live on the Hopi Reservation, a 2439 square mile tract completely surrounded by the Navajo Reservation.
Mesas are land formations that are also called “table tops” because they are raised masses of land with level tops and three steep sides. On the Hopi Reservation, there are three such mesas called First Mesa, Second Mesa and Third Mesa. Each mesa has several Pueblos (villages) on it. There are 12 Pueblos in all on the 3 Mesas.
Since you mention Third Mesa, I’ll just mention that the villages of Kykotsmovi, Old Oraibi, Hotevilla and Bacavi are located there. Old Oraibi dates back to between 1050 and 1150 and is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.
So now to your necklace which is below.
I received your drawing of the feather hallmark and it looks very much like the hallmark of Jacob Poleviyouma, Jr. of the Sun Clan in the Shungopavi-Hotevilla Pueblo. He learned his trade at the Guild and began producing silver work in 1976. He passed away in 1986.
What is “the Guild”? That’s short for the Hopi Silvercraft Guild formed in 1949 by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and the Hopi Government Agency. For twenty years, the Guild provided classes, a central workshop and a stable marketing outlet for Hopi silversmiths.
For further reference on symbols on a Hopi overlay necklace, you might like to read
Enjoy your necklace !