The talented artist Robert Shakey has used his vast knowledge of silversmithing to create this beautiful naja necklace. Seven Kingman Turquoise cabochon stones are arranged in a graduated pattern in the shape of a naja.
With probable Paleolithic origins, the inverted crescent form, called naja by the Navajo, has represented the Phoenician goddess of fertility, Astarte, and is mentioned among the "ornaments on camels' necks" in the Book of Judges. The Moors, who dominated Spain for eight centuries, adopted the crescent as a horse's bridle ornament to protect the horse and rider from the evil eye. The Spanish brought the art form to the Americas. The Navajo, whether directly from the Spanish or indirectly through the Plains Indians, adopted the crescent form as a headstall (front, center band of the bridle) and, later, as the crowning achievement of their squash blossom necklaces. Although many Navajo jewelers chain that the naja has no precise symbolic or spiritual significance in their work, it is still a ubiquitous design.
About this amazing piece:
- Comprised of Kingman Turquoise
- Navajo Handmade
- Artist: Robert Shakey
- Signed "ROBERT SHAKEY"
- Stamped "STERLING"
- Measures 1 5/8" x 1 3/4" inch
- Chain Measures 18.5" inches
- Weighs 28 grams
(Naja History Excerpt provided by "Glittering World Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family" by Lois Sherr Dublin)