Kee Brown - Navajo
In the center of the bracelet is a hogan, a traditional Navajo home typically made of logs logs and mud with a door that traditionally faces east.
Paula says - "This exceptional sterling silver bracelet has a panorama in overlaid gold that depicts scenes of Navajo life. Kee Brown is known for his storyteller bracelets and this is great example of his exceptional workmanship and fine detail.
"This piece is NOS (new old stock) that was made in the 1970s but never used - it is brand new vintage!"
A Navajo man approaching the hogan on a wagon pulled by a horse. There is a woman in the wagon. Actually, the wagon resembles an old automobile because of the wheels, the trim along the side and the bumper on the back.
A Navajo silversmith at work, wearing a concho belt.
A Navajo woman, also wearing a concho belt, weaving a rug or blanket on her loom.
What is Storyteller Jewelry?
Storyteller jewelry, typically bracelets, pendants and pins, are made using the sterling silver overlay method, sometimes incorporating gold in the overlay. Two layers comprise the jewelry - the top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then placed over a solid bottom layer. The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is often textured or darkened (oxidized) for contrast. 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. Storyteller jewelry often depicts scenes from life on the reservation, including animals like sheep, dogs and horses, buildings such as hogans and outhouses, mesas, trees, looms, kivas, wagans and even pickup trucks.
We recently purchased a large collection of vintage but unused Native American artifacts including jewelry, rugs and pottery. It was part of the estate of a Navajo woman who was a missionary that worked with Native Americans in Four Corners - the area of the American southwest where four states meet- New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. As a single parent, she raised 5 daughters and a son while also providing food, shelter, and clothing to less fortunate people that needed assistance. Often she was thanked for her help by gifts of Native American items.
Most of the items in this collection are from the 1970s to the 1980s. We offer these items to you with great respect and with the information we received from the family plus our research.
We named the collection after one of the pieces in the group, a hand carved Navajo fetish necklace honoring the Sacred White Buffalo.
BUFFALO MEDICINE - The appearance of White Buffalo is a sign that prayers are being heard, that the sacred pipe and Spirit are being honored. White Buffalo signals a time of abundance, prosperity and thankfulness. Buffalo was the major source of sustenance for indigenous cultures of the plains, giving meat for food, hides for shelter and clothing, and Spirit Medicine. The Medicine of Buffalo is prayer, gratitude and praise for that which has been received. Buffalo Medicine is also knowing that abundance is present when all relations are honored as sacred, and when gratitude is expressed to every living part of creation, recognizing the sacredness of every walk of life.
Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
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|A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal by exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance. All items in our Vintage Shop have some patina, even NOS.|
|30 years or older.|
|New Old Stock. Made at least 20 years ago but never used.|
|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.