Bracelet from the sale basket at the Heard Museum

April 28, 2014

Hello Paula,

About ten years ago (or perhaps a few years more than that) I purchased a silver bracelet from the “sale” basket at the Heard Museum. It was an old piece that I have come to love and for which I often receive compliments.

The piece had no visible identifying markings – until recently when the piece of turquoise fell out to show an engraved floral design at the base of the 2×3 cm oval that encased the stone. This is something that I had never seen and thought perhaps it could help provide information about the piece and who made it and increase my connection to the bracelet

The bracelet itself is fashioned from three double strands of open braided “rope” with the rough piece of turquoise set in the middle. On each side of the bracelet on top of the “rope” is a right facing arrow below that is a right facing eagle. There is a hammered finish to the entire piece.

Pictures are available of course. Can you help?  Thanks so much.

Jennifer

Bezel Front Inside_Back Side_1 Side_2Hi Jennifer,

First of all, thank you for your patience. This is the last question from April – I am trying to get caught up!

Second and more importantly, what a great bracelet ! I can see why you bought it !

For those not familiar with Heard Museum, you can read about it here.

About all I can say about your bracelet Jennifer is that it does show:

whirling logs

Thunderbird 

(and here’s another article about Thunderbird)

handmade arrows and a beautiful Turquoise stone.

As far as the pattern underneath the stone, rather than a hallmark, I think it is more an indication of re-purposing a piece of silver that had been used or started for another project.

Perhaps other readers have comments.

Paula

To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here
http://www.horsekeeping.com/native-american-jewelry-artifacts.htm

If you are selling your jewelry, read this
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htm

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm

BST478-bell-arrowhead-nickel-turq-1

Vintage Bell Trading Co. nickel bracelet.

UITA Hallmark – United Indian Traders Association

Hi Paula,

First of all, Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this email – i recently purchased a small silver thunderbird pendant that has a small turquoise stone. On the back, there is a Hallmark that reads:
UI (arrowhead)TA 10
 i believe the hallmark is for ‘United Indian Trade Assoc.’ but my question is, what does the number represent?
Thank You Again Paula!
David

!cid_F5B1228F-E389-45EB-BD14-7428B6003579@nyc_rr !cid_F35434EA-EA31-45AF-9F7B-14073AC0A739@nyc_rrHi David,

UITA is the stamp of United Indian Traders Association, which was formed in 1931 for the express purpose of authenticating Native American Indian crafts.

Here is an excerpt from the Fourth Edition of

Native American and Southwestern Silver Hallmarks by Bille Hougart

UITA-list

 

 

 

Paula

Vintage Native American Thunderbird Pin Wanted

Dear Paula,
Is it possible to get another thunderbird like the vintage P133?  the new thunderbirds do not look like this one.  Thank you very much.
Navajo
Sterling Silver Vintage Thunderbird Pendant #P133

John

Dear John,

Thanks for writing. The items in our pawn shop are older items and we get them in, usually in a lot such as from somebody’s collection or an estate lot, so there would be no way of predicting when we might get something similar to that Thunderbird pendant in. It looks a little more Pacific Northwest to me rather than Southwest.

You could keep an eye on our NEW page which is where we list something new each day – and that means pawn items as well as new contemporary.
I’ve just listed a few new Thunderbirds which I think you might like……….

These wonderful old style pins are made from heavy gauge sterling silver plate; hand cut, deeply hand-stamped, smoothed and polished leaving some areas intentionally oxidized or darkened. A polished turquoise stone is set in a handcut smooth bezel. A twisted sterling silver rope encircles the bezel. Albert Cleveland typically uses King Manassas turquoise, known for its brilliant greens with gold or brown matrix. They have a locking pin finding. Very retro.

Albert Cleveland is of the Dashchanii clan and was born on the Navajo reservation near Mt. Taylor. He and his wife live near Gallup, New Mexico. His brother is Bobby Cleveland and his parents Etta and Philip Cleveland. Cleveland signs his pieces AC if he works on them alone or AJC when his wife Jacqualine works with him. Albert Cleveland works in a retro style, reminiscent of the 1940’s curio shop work which featured Native American symbols such as Eagles, Thunderbirds, Bears, Waterbirds and other animals.


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Native American Symbol – Thunderbird

I was appreciating your art pictures and comments on the symbology, just wondering if you know of more about the Thunderbird symbol.
Thanks for sharing!
Colleen

Legend of the Thunderbird

The Native American Thunderbird legend has been recorded through drawings, cave paintings, oral history, totem poles, and as a design element in many Native American artifacts and pieces of art for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Native American Thunderbird

Native American Thunderbird

Whether the symbol is specific to the Pacific Northwest Tribes and Plains Indians or is a cross-tribal symbol is debated.

At least 3 tribes have words for Thunderbird:

(From Wikipedia)

“The Thunderbird’s name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind. The Lakota name for the Thunderbird is Wakį́yą, a word formed from kįyą́, meaning “winged”, and wakhą́, “sacred”. The Kwakwaka’wakw have many names for the Thunderbird and the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) called him Kw-Uhnx-Wa. The Ojibwa word for a thunderbird that is closely associated with thunder is animikii, while large thunderous birds are known as binesi.”

Native American Thunderbird

Native American Thunderbird

Now whether the legend was borne from the sighting of a very large prehistoric bird or whether it is completely mythological is also unclear.

There have been some claimed sightings of large Thunderbirds in this century.

But some things seem to be common in all accounts of the Thunderbird legend.

The Thunderbird is large – his wing feathers are said to be 5 feet long giving the bird a wingspan (tip to tip) of 12 feet or more. Some reports say up to a 20 feet wingspan.

The Thunderbird is said to be involved in whipping up weather – thunderstorms, rain, wind, hail, snow and tornados and is capable of flashing lightning from its eyes.

Native American Thunderbird

Native American Thunderbird

Excellent articles:

Thunderbird and Trickster by Steve Mizrach

Quillayute and the Thunderbird

Native American Symbols – Water Bird, Peyote Bird, Thunderbird

Native American Symbols

Water Bird, Peyote Bird, Thunderbird

©  2010 Horsekeeping © Copyright Information

The Water Bird is a symbol of the renewal of life, rainy seasons, rivers, distant travel, distant vision & wisdom. It is often also referred to as the Peyote Bird because the Water Bird plays a significant part in the Native American Indian Church Peyote meetings and, in fact, since the early 1900’s has been the symbol of the NAC.

Peyote Bird

Peyote Bird

The Peyote/Water Bird is not a Southwest tradition, but one of the Plains Indians. The Peyote Bird is connected with lightning, thunder and visions. Those who dream of the thunder beings will become Heyokas, those who do things backwards, upside down, or opposite. This is a Lakota way of being. It is part of the medicine of the Heyoka to remind us that we should not take ourselves too seriously – that’s why Heyoka is often translated as the “sacred clown”.

Peyote - Water Bird

Peyote - Water Bird

The Thunderbird is a cross-cultural symbol of the Southwest, Plains and Pacific Northwest tribes as well as in the non-Native world. Much is written about the origin of the symbol and its significance. It has been suggested by some that the symbol was borrowed by Native American artisans from the white man’s medal dies. Others claim the Thunderbird has always lived in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. There, carved totem poles are often topped with a Thunderbird with outstretched wings. Looking at a Thunderbird, it is easy to see why it symbolizes power, strength and nobility.

Zuni Inlay Thunderbird Pin Pendant by Randolph Lateyice

Zuni Inlay Thunderbird Pin Pendant by Randolph Lateyice

Thunderbird Pin Pendant by Zuni Rose Tekela

Thunderbird Pin Pendant by Zuni Rose Tekela

Zuni Inlay Thunderbird Pin Pendant by Leagus Ahiyite

Zuni Inlay Thunderbird Pin Pendant by Leagus Ahiyite

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