Authentic Native American Ghost Beads

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HK Item #NGB301
Louise Bitsoie - Navajo
Ghost Bead Medallion Necklace

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Paula says - "These beautiful Ghost Bead necklaces are made by Navajo Louise Bitsoie. She gathers the seeds from juniper trees from the Grand Canyon area on the Navajo Reservation. She collects the berries (seeds) after they have dried and ants have eaten one end of the seed. She makes a hole in the other end of the seed using a hot needle. She then hand strings them with various colors of glass beads. She said they are worn to ward off evil spirits and to bring tranquility and protection to the wearer.

"These necklaces are beautiful and full of life. They are made for wearing but when you are not wearing them, you can hang them in your bedroom, office or on the mirror of your truck or car to bring you peace and harmony. What a great gift to give or to receive!"

Authentic Native American Navajo Ghost Beads Jacla Necklace

28" long;
5 1/2" long pendant;
2 3/4" diameter medallion
Juniper berries, white buckskin, black seed beads, nylon thread
No clasp. Necklace is just slipped over your head.
Louise Bitsoie, Navajo

Authentic Native American Navajo Ghost Beads Jacla Necklace

Three Ghost Bead jaclas hang from the medallion.

Authentic Ghost Bead Medallion Necklace

NGB301 - $36 SOLD

Ghost Bead Necklaces

Authentic Native American Navajo Ghost Beads Jacla Necklace

The center of the medallion is white buckskin leather with black seed beads, juniper beads and spokes of black spiral beads that are finished off in silver raindrops around the perimeter.

Authentic Native American Navajo Ghost Beads Jacla Necklace

Questions or more details.

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Are they Juniper or Cedar Berries?

Juniper berries have long been a Navajo medicine for treating such things as diabetes. Juniper berries (seeds) are also used to make ghost bead necklaces. Juniper is a broad category of trees, some of which have common names that include "cedar", such as "red cedar" that is widely used to make boxes and line drawers. This can be confusing because a true cedar tree comes from a different family of trees. So you will see ghost beads referred to being made from cedar seeds, juniper seeds or juniper/cedar seeds. If you want to be technically correct, they should be called juniper seeds or berries.

Questions or more details, write

What is a jacla?

Traditionally, a heishi necklace would have a secondary pendant called a jacla tied on. Originally, the jacla was a pair of heishi earrings that were tied onto the necklace. Later, loops of heishi specific for this purpose were tied onto the lower center of the heishi necklace. A variation of this is a heishi necklace with vertical slab or chunk stones at the center or a layered disc with bead loops hanging from the disc. Read more about jaclas.

The Legend of Ghost Beads
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Ghost Beads are dried juniper berries.

The juniper berries are collected after ants have found the berries on the ground, nibbled off one end eaten the inside of the berry. The berry is then hollow and dry. Sometimes the berries are lightly smoked to further preserve them. A hole is made in the other end by the artisan and the dried berries are strung in accordance with the harmony of nature.

Ghost Bead necklaces are made by Navajo and other tribes. They are thought to represent an interconnection of the earth, trees, animals and humans and they bring peace, harmony and safety to the wearer.

They are a southwest tradition to protect one from evil spirits, ghosts and nightmares.

Click here to print this Legend for a gift card.

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