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Bolo tie and pins

The technique of overlaying letters and initials in silver is included here because it has been a small part of Indian jewelry making, even if it was only done at the request of traders and clients. Indian silversmiths complied with the requests of clients to adorn silver articles with initials before 1900. This practice will probably be popular in the juture also.

Letter openers

Key chains

Key chains

Earrings ^


Stick pins

The articles on this page are shown to suggest the many uses for this technique,


Liquor bottle tags

Zuni multicolor inlay is an extremely popular expression of Zuni

The rainbow of colors ussidj» make up this jewelry are spcciA fy cut pieces of turquoise, coial jet, tortoise shell and the marrf colors of various shells. All ofl these materials have some meaning in the Zuni's religious back ground. The main figures depicted have a part in Zuni myth ology. Some of these are the Rainbow Man, the Knifewing or Thunderbird {a creature half man Uia If eagle}, the Sunface and |rwny Kachinas. The Zurii ima-■nation is limitless in this metli Li. Also represented are all' Hpds of animals, both wild Sd domestic. Every kind of bird Hi many kinds of insects, «»cmlly dragonflies and liutter-IK, leptiles, frogs, horny mgmt, and even humans are

The method of constructing the inlay is as varied as are the figures represented. The original method was to cement all the tiny pieces of different materi als to a piece of old phonograph record which Ijafi been cut or sawed to shapef' I

Checkering file used to serrate silver strips for bezels

The pieces were sanded and polished, bezels were made and decorations assembled and soldered onto a silver plate which was to make up the piece of jewelry. This example is a bolo tie. The excess silver plate was sawed a way, the bolo back put on, the components carefully set and the bolo polished. This is only one of the many techniques employed to make this jewelry. Although still used, the phono agraph record has been replaced with sheet plastic or sheet aluminum. Sometimes even pieces of the bottoms and sides of old aluminum utensils are used.

The Rainbow Man bolo tie with inlaid tips

The methods of cutting the stones and assembly of pieces vary with the individual artist. Generally the stones are cut, assembled and cemented to a backing and the bezel and piece of jewelry constructed around the figure.

The pieces for this sunface ring are cut, assembled and cemented to a thin piece of aluminum sheet. It is then sanded, polished and a ring is made for it.

The completed Rainbow Man

Wiap around inlay ring

Kachine mask ring

Butterfly ring

Rainbow Man ring

So trie years ago a woman at Zuni was setin wearing ri rather large inlay pin depicting an old style iron bed with white sheets and pillow; covered with many tiny red bed bugs!

A necklace made up of representations " of many different 1 birds

Indiiin with headdress bulo tie and sun face tips

Rainbow Mho IjoJo lie ace bracelet

Knifewincj pin bracelet

With this butterfly pin, the siiverwork wiis done first and the stones cut to fit It is technically channel but looks frke inlay.

Suntace ring

Inlaid earrings

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