I had a wonderful chat with Libert Peyketewa’s son, Clybert Peyketewa, and here is what he told me, which is somewhat at odds with what is stated in the hallmark books:
“Clybert’s father, the late Libert Peyketewa, was taught needlepoint and silverwork by his father and mother, LaVern Peyketewa and Victoria Amasoila. When Libert married, he taught his wife Carol the stone work while he continued to do the silverwork. After Libert passed away, his wife never remarried and and discontinued the jewelry making. Clybert figures this set was made in the late 1980s.
Libert Peyketewa’s hallmark
“Most Libert Peyketewa sets we’ve seen have only two or maybe three pieces. This is a rare set that has four pieces. Color of necklace, bracelet and earrings matches very well, the ring is a bit more green.
In Native American art, the hand usually represents the presence of man. From the earliest hand imprints on cave walls, the hand depicts a man’s work, achievements and his personal history.
When a hand had a swirl in the middle of it, that is said to be the “eye in hand” and represents a mystic, or all-seeing, hand, the presence of the Great Spirit in man.
Mystic Hand Pendant
A Native American’s horse was highly honored and often covered in symbols for various purposes. This would vary from tribe to tribe but hand prints were often used in various positions on a horse to mean different things.
The most prized handprint was when preparing for battle, if it was a kill-or-be-killed mission, an upside-down hand would be placed on the warrior’s horse.
If a horse knocked down an enemy, right and left hand prints were put on the horse’s chest.
The Pat Hand Print was the left hand pressed onto the horse’s right hindquarters. It was put on a horse who had returned from a dangerous mission with his master unharmed.
Lakota Kangi Pejuta Medicine Bag. Kangi Pejuta means Medicine Crow.
RAVEN/CROW – Raven and Crow are very similar in their strengths: both carry great responsibility to Spirit and are the messengers of magic and healing from the universe where all knowledge waits for us.
Raven Crow Feather Necklace by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk
They also symbolize changes in consciousness, levels of awareness and perception.
Zuni Raven Fetishes
Shamans, Spiritualists and Healers using Raven/Crow Medicine are able to use their gifts with deeper clarity, understanding and insight, developing greater power and skill in their abilities and their means to help one move forward in life.
Kangi Pejuta Smudge Kit
Raven Crow Medicine Smudge Feather
Raven Crow Spirit Smudge fan by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk
Raven Crow Medicine Pouch with hand carved and painted buffalo bone raven feather. Cynthia Whitehawk
Raven – Crow – A symbol of Magic, Mystery, and a Shift in Consciousness
(from our conversations with Lakota and Apache healers)
All three of these types of bracelets – split shank, Pretty Girl, and wire bracelets, are traditional Navajo and Zuni bracelet forms and all are open and airy making for comfortable summer wearing. The open spaces allow for ventilation, thus making the bracelets more comfortable to wear in hot and humid weather. Anyone who has worn a wide solid cuff in hot weather knows that it can make your wrist perspire. Perspiration can cause the copper in the sterling silver to tarnish more quickly.
A split shank bracelet is made by splitting the center portion of a solid metal strip (shank) with a saw, chisel or other tool to open it and make it wider. This makes a larger base to attach decorative elements.
Split Shank bracelet
The center is split into two, three, four, or five branches, most commonly three. Part of the sides and the terminal ends of the bracelet are left solid like the original metal plate – the sides can be stamped or adorned all the way to the ends.
The splits were originally made by hand with a saw or a cold chisel and a hammer. They are still done that way today but in some cases the splits are made using a hydraulic drop cutter.
A Pretty Girl bracelet is a lightweight split shank Native American souvenir bracelet from the Fred Harvey era. The decorations added to a Pretty Girl bracelet were set on a platform and usually were a combination of hand made and cast elements such as medallions, buttons, braids, wire and raindrops.
Pre-cut turquoise gemstones set into preformed bezel cups were the most common adornments – set onto a platform. There were a variety of handmade and preformed platforms used – from simple to ornate.
The edges of the bracelets were often scalloped. The side panels were often stamped with geometric designs, whirling logs, dogs, thunderbirds, arrows and more.
The split shank bracelet, sometimes called spreadwire, made in copper by Bell Trading
Decorative stamping on the side pieces
Whereas a split plate bracelet is is made from one piece of flat stock, a similar style bracelet, the “wire” bracelet is made from 2-10 or more separate bands of flat stock or round or triangular wire that are joined together at the ends.
Three “wire” bracelet made from three separate metal strips joined together at the terminal ends.
I have a piece of jewelry and am unsure of it’s purpose It is circular, 3 inches in diameter, Zuni style inlay on sterling silver. There is a round center piece, surrounded by two outer layers of tear drop shaped turquoise, There are four loops at equal distance around the back perimeter edge.
I do not know if it might be a grandmother’s pin or a bolo, or a pendent. The pawn tag is still attached but simply reads pawn 1969.
Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.
June 23, 2014
To me it looks like it could be either Zuni or Navajo made in a Zuni style.
I recently purchased a storyteller belt by Lloyd Bicenti. It has 8 rectangular sections plus the buckle. I would like to know what the story is for this specific belt, but would also like to know if there is a source that one could go to about different story belts and bracelets.
Your beautiful belt depicts Kachinas, the eagle kachina and the antelope kachina to name just a few that are masterfully represented on the belt.
Kachinas represent the forces of nature, human, animal, plant, and act as intermediaries between the world of humans and the gods. Kachinas play an important part in the seasonal ceremonies of the Hopi, which encompass generations of passed-on knowledge and tradition, and has become the subject of a number of books. The simplified description here is meant only as an introduction.
A kachina has three aspects. The supernatural being as it exists in the minds of the Hopis; the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit; and the dolls that are made in the likeness of the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit.
Traditionally, kachina dolls are created by Hopi or Zuni artists. Your belt is made by a Navajo silversmith.
There are many good books written about kachinas – one of the books I show below talks about 266 different kachinas, often with subtle differences between them. To find out which kachinas are represented on your belt, I’d suggest some online or library research.
We have a very few kachinas on our website (click on the last photo) but there are websites that devote many pages to describing them.
Best of luck with your research and enjoy that gorgeous work of art !
Could you tell me if Nathaniel and Rosemary Nez, are of the Zuni tribes ~~ I see they do a lot of petite point and needle point in their work. My friend say’s they are Navajo, she has a needle point bracelet etched N & R Nez, which makes me think are they Navajo, but do Zuni style work. I know this sounds stupid to you, but would really love to know, who told her they were Navajo.
Good question and you are not the first to ask.
Nathaniel and Rosemary Nez are Navajo artists who do petite point and needle point in Zuni style.