One of the proudest possessions of the nomadic Navajo was the silver headstall for his beloved horse. Very rarely is one seen in use today and then only at sings or dances in remote parts of the reservation. Hundreds of these headstalls and possibly tons of silver jewelry are buried across the reservation with their owners. Wh it a rich legacy to the archaeologists ol the i inure I
This bridle ts made of IB gauge silver sheet. It consists of II pieces plus the naja, and weighs about IS oz. Troy, or a little more than a pound. The straps are usually mode of 3/4-inch leather. It is convenient To use a 6-tnch piece of 3/4 x 1/8 inch black strap iron over which to form the silver to fit the leather strap. The pieces of silver are cut to siae as shown end decorated by stamping before they are bent in a visa around the strap iron, forming a channel for the 9 - Si \ leather.
Pieces of copper strip 1/4 x 7/B-inch ^ ¿ire cut, and two are soldered to | the back of each piece of silver. Heavy silver rings of 7 gauge round silver wire 5/3 inch in diameter are soldered perpendicularly onto the bottom of the Final piece. Small copper rings are soldered-to the bach of the lower pieces to secure the leather
A piece of 3/4-inch strap iron is ground to a point as shown. It is used to shape the guard pieces which are slightly curved after soldering.
The headstall is definitely Moorish in design, brought to America by the Spanish, who also brought the horse. It was only natural for the Indians, who worked in metal, to copy the headstall and jewelry of the Spanish, Both the Plains Indians and the Navajo copied the Spanish headstall precisely.
The Tweezer or Whisker puller it a very old personal article used by the Indians of the Americas. Its use ts mentioned in writings of many of the first explorers of North and South America. Due to the fact that the Indians have sparse facial hair, an easy, if somewhat painful, method was used to extract it. Iron and steel were unknown in the Americas before Columbus arrived and shaving with sharp stones, shells or other objects was not widely practiced. Few Indians found it convenient to shave even after the steel razor was introduced. They considered it much easier to extract their facial hairs at various times during the day with a pair of homemade tweezers.
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