Jeannette Niiha, Zuni
Vintage Sterling Silver
Thunderbird Inlay Bolo Tie
HK Item #BOL103

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Authentic Navajo Pawn Jewelry

Authentic Native American vintage sterling silver Thunderbird Inlay Bolo tie by Zuni artist Jeannette Niiha

Condition
Vintage, Pre-owned, medium patina; good cord; tips tight; stone inlay firmly set with no cracks, chips or missing pieces; clasp works fine
Size
slide is 1" tall x 1" wide
2" long tips
Materials
turquoise, coral, mother of pearl, jet, Read about stones;
sterling silver, Read about silver;
braided leather cord;
Bennett clasp
Hallmark
stamped: J. Niiha
Artist
Jeannette Niiha, Zuni

Authentic Native American vintage sterling silver Thunderbird Inlay Bolo tie by Zuni artist Jeannette Niiha

Bennett clasp.
Read about Bennett clasp.

Read about the origin of the bolo tie.

See More Bolo Ties

Questions or more details.

Store Policies

Jeannette Niiha, Zuni
Vintage Sterling Silver
Thunderbird Inlay Bolo Tie

#BOL103 - $195

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Authentic Native American vintage sterling silver Thunderbird Inlay Bolo tie by Zuni artist Jeannette Niiha

Authentic Native American vintage sterling silver Thunderbird Inlay Bolo tie by Zuni artist Jeannette Niiha

Slide is 2 1/2" tall x 1 5/8" wide with 2" long tips.

We leave the natural patina on our pawn jewelry because many of our customers like the old "vintage" appearance. If you'd like to clean up your silver jewelry, new or old, check out our handy silver cleaning and polishing cloth.

Read about polishing silver here.

Peyote Bird, Water Bird or Thunderbird?

Water Bird / Peyote Bird

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/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".

Thunderbird

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 medal dies from the white man. 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.

What is a Bolo Tie?

Native American Jewelry Blog tips and iinformationA bolo tie, also called a “shoestring necklace” or simply a bola, can be thought of as a Western necktie. A bolo tie can range from an inexpensive “string tie” to an elaborate sterling silver and leather affair. Maybe your younger brother had one of those string ties that he wore with his cowboy hat and cap guns ??!!

A bolo has three parts:

  • The cord that goes around the neck is called the lariat. It is traditionally braided from leather, and most commonly black leather. The lariat can also be made from woven cord, thus the term “string tie”.

  • The ends of the lariat are finished off with tips. The tips can be made of sterling silver, copper or other metals. They can be machine made tips or hand made tips.

  • And finally we get to the Pièce de résistance which means the focal point, the best part or feature, the artistic creation for which the other portions exist ! The slide. The slide is a decorative feature that, as its name indicates, slides up and down on the lariat. The slide can be worn up at the neck in the same position as a necktie knot (formal) or down lower for a more casual effect. Slides can vary as widely as the artist’s imagination and can utilize many materials.

 

Why isn't this item called Native American?

The US Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and its recent Amendments require that items described as Native American or Indian be made by an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Furthermore, government regulations suggest that all attributions include the Native American Indian's name, tribe and federal tribal enrollment number. Because it is impossible to identify the artist for many vintage items, even if they are authentic Indian made items, we cannot and will not use the words Native American or Indian in association with such pieces.

Read about authenticity of Native American Indian jewelry.

NOTE: Items in our Vintage Shop are either USED or NEW. They might come from inheritances, estate sales, private collections, and store liquidations. Many items are brand new (NOS, New Old Stock) and in perfect condition while others may show tarnish, scratches and other signs of use. Major issues will be described in detail and shown in photos. Vintage Shop items are sold as described and are not returnable.
Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
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Patina
A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Vintage
30 years or older.
NOS
New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.
Pre-owned
An item that has been used.

Our Rescue Mission

We are in the vintage Native American jewelry rescue business and are passionate about finding new homes for used and vintage jewelry and artifacts. That's why we purchase Native American pieces from estates, inheritances, collection downsizing and New Old Stock (NOS) inventory from closed stores.

Often people contact us after taking a box of Native American jewelry to their local pawn shop and find that a pawn shop is mainly interested in melt value of the metals and not in preserving the beautiful historic pieces. To hear that people have considered selling these treasures for melt value makes us truly sad.

Melt value is usually far below what we would offer for the jewelry. Yet we can't pay retail price for items because of the time and cost involved in finding new homes for them. We have to research, often repair and restore the jewelry, photograph and list each item on our website, and sometimes hold pieces in inventory for years until the right buyer comes along.

We hope you'll find something special in our vintage shop that will complete yet another circle of our jewelry re-homing mission.

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