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Robert Gene - Navajo
Satin Sterling Silver
NE613 - $50 plus s/h
Paula says - "These sterling silver overlay kokopelli earrings have a soft satin finish and a black background."
The kokopelli, flute player, often associated with the Hopi Flute Clan is the symbol of happiness, joy and fertility.
Usually depicted as a non-gender figure, it was traditionally a male figure, often well endowed until the missionaries discouraged such depiction !
Kokopelli talks to the wind and the sky. His flute can be heard in the spring breeze, bringing warmth after the winter cold. He is the symbolic seed bringer and water sprinkler. His religious or supernatural power for fertility is meant to invoke rain as well as impregnate women both physically and mentally.
The kokopelli image is found from Casa Grande, Mexico to the Hopi and Rio Grande Pueblos and then westward to the Californian deserts in prehistoric rock, effigy figures, pottery, and on kiva walls.
What is Overlay?
With silver overlay, there are two layers of silver - the top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then placed over a solid silver bottom layer.
The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is traditionally darkened (oxidized) for contrast. Navajo silversmiths typically leave the background smooth while Hopi usually etch the background with hashmarks.
The two layers are then sweated together - the silver is heated until the two layers meld.
The result is a 3-D picture with great depth and interest.