Ancient to Modern: Continuity and Innovation in Southwest Native Jewelry

turquoise jewelry on a black background

Ancient and modern jewelry pictured: Hohokam beads, c. 950-1150 and Kewa (Santo Domingo) beads by Joseph Pacheco, 1998. Mogollon turquoise mosaic, c. 1200-1400 and Kewa (Santo Domingo) turquoise mosaic by Mary Lovato, 2020. Photograph by Max Minj, 2022

Nothing better captures the spirit of the American Southwest than jewelry of shell, silver, and turquoise crafted by the region’s Indigenous artisans. The story of this cultural art form is one of continuity and innovation. Over seventy outstanding examples from ASM’s collections of ancient, historic, and contemporary jewelry are on display. They tell of efforts by the region’s Indigenous peoples over the millennia to adorn themselves and their loved ones, engage in trade, and express their identities, cultural beliefs and values. The exhibit’s story is enlivened by comments from contemporary makers whose works are included. Enter and enjoy this online exhibit now.