In 1899, US gum manufacturers formed a conglomerate, The American Chicle Company.
In 1906 Frank Fleer (does his name ring a bell, bubble gum lovers?) began making a hard-shelled, candy-coated white peppermint gum called Chiclets.
Chicle is the English version of the word tzikiti (“sticky stuff”), the Nahuatl word for the resin that makes chewing gum. Oddly enough though, Chiclets are made from a different gum base!
By 1920, Chiclets were available in bright colors: yellow, green, orange, red, white, and pink. The small shiny rectangles each had a different flavor – mostly fruits; the white was still peppermint.
Native Americans, most specifically Santo Domingo artists, began calling their colorful, multi-stone necklaces “Chiclet Necklaces” and it is easy to see why.
Some Santo Domingo artists add small treasures among the chiclets and call the necklaces Treasure Necklaces.
One day a number of years ago, I was helping hubby find the size jeans he needed in our local department store. As I slipped my hands in between the stacked jeans to get to the tags, all of a sudden I noticed some little particles on some of the jeans. Eeeowww I thought, there are mice in this store making crumbs from something.
As I yanked my hand out from the stack, I noticed there was a turquoise stone missing from my inexpensive sterling silver and turquoise cuff watch……..and at the bottom of the setting cup were some more of those particles. Upon closer examination I realized it was sawdust.
Well, I came to learn that it is normal operating procedure for Native American artists to “back” stones with a cushion of sawdust. This is in part so that there is some give if the stone is bumped – better to have a shock absorber than the stone be cracked.
The sawdust also creates some pressure pushing the stone tightly against the bezel. A well designed bezel would never allow a stone to fall out.
If a piece with a sawdust-set stone gets wet, the sawdust could swell so much that it could pop the stone out. That’s one more reason why you should never let your Native American stone pieces get wet.
I was interested in purchasing a fetish necklace made by Corrine Ramirez and wanted to know if this was signed by her, or had any kind of certificate by the artist? Thank you!
I don’t know of any fetish necklace makers that sign their necklaces – they do so by “style” – that is, the pieces are recognizably by a certain artist.
We purchase directly from Corrine. That’s the best certification.
As far as a Certificate of Authenticity (COA), the only legal certificate is one signed by the artist. In other words, if a store owner gives you one that says “This is authentic Native American made by so-and-so” it is not valid. It is worthless.
With that said, only about 1% of the artists that we deal with issue signed certificates for each piece. We indicate on the item page if there is a COA.
Only one Navajo artist gives us certificates with her pieces. And we represent the work of hundreds of artists from many tribes.
However, aside from fetish necklaces, the majority of Native American pieces today are signed with some sort of hallmark.
So I’ve made a short answer long, just to give you more background.
Hope this helps.
It does Paula. Thank you for getting back with me. I wasn’t sure if a necklace could actually be signed, but thought I’d check.
I want to be certain before I make such a big purchase. Thanks again! Melissa
My daughter-in-law wanted a stacked fetish necklace for Christmas and I felt funny when she asked me for it because, I’m a little embarrassed to say, but I thought it was something obscene. Now I know a little more about it but wonder if you would explain further.
Name Withheld on Request.
No need to be embarrassed – first of all the word fetish could conjure up some uneasy feelings.
From an online dictionary:
1. stacked – arranged in a stack
2. stacked – (of a woman’s body) having a large bosom and pleasing curves
Native American necklace #1.
Odd request for Christmas #2.
So, a Stacked Fetish Necklace is one where the hand carved stone animals are placed closer together than normal, in essence stacked on top of each other. Here is an example of a regular fetish necklace and a stacked fetish necklace by the same artist, Navajo Neil Thomas.
I absolutely have fallen in love with your Monument Valley fetish necklace
($180.) I have never seen anything like it, and I traveled everywhere
throughout those areas 3 times and I loved the red rocks in Arches National
Park, Bryce,and Zion. Your beads are very spiritual to me and they tell me
many stories from my past experiences. My question is, would it be possible for me to buy just the beads of the necklace so I can string it myself? Thank you so much, Jan
I know what you mean about those necklaces – they are unique and engaging. I believe Hector Goodluck is the only one who carves those images and makes a
Monument Valley necklace. I knew he made them but it took us about a year to be able to get them from him ! I just feel like I am “wearing the area” when I have mine on.
We only sell the artist’s work as is, but it would be easy to restring them to your liking. They come with earrings for $180, so there you have some additional beads for your custom project.
|Fetishes & carvings include features of Navajo life in Monument Valley such as:|
Thanks for getting back to me. I will put the necklace at the top of my wish
list for Christmas presents. It has such depth and each fetish has its own
story to tell. So amazing! Jan
Matrix is the term used to describe the contrasting material in a parent rock – usually turquoise.
Matrix can be thick channels or delicate fine lines like a spiderweb.
It is usually made of iron pyrite and can look like fleks, spots or distinct veins.
Some people like stones WITHOUT matrix – they are called “clear stones”.
Other people are drawn to the variations in the shapes and colors of turquoise with matrix.
Matrix can add texture to the stone as well as a bit of glimmer in some cases.
The most common matrix colors seen in turquoise are black, brown and honey.
When turquoise is cut so that there is more Mother Rock than Turquoise, it is called Boulder Turquoise. So in this case the “veins” are turquoise !
So many beautiful stones to enjoy !