This statement necklace is handmade in New Mexico by Navajo artists Eva & Linberg Billah. The pendant is a traditional Naja shape, which is thought to have originated from the Moorish and was then borrowed from the Spanish, who brought the knowledge of silversmithing to the Native Americans. The word “naja” is the Navajo word for “crescent.”
This piece is created using the traditional and labor-intensive technique of sand casting, in which the artist carves the shape and design into a piece of sandstone. Using another piece of stone, this is turned into a mold and molten silver is poured into it. Once the piece is cooled and removed from the mold, the process of shaping, adding stamped details, hand-finishing, and oxidizing begins. It is a fascinating process and the mold is destroyed in the process, so each piece is completely unique! You can see the evidence of the technique in the "sandy" texture seen on parts of the design.
This necklace is set with a bright turquoise stone and strung on a strand of handmade 4 mm sterling silver beads known as "Navajo Pearls."
- Handmade in New Mexico
- By Navajo artists Eva and Linberg Billah, stamped ELB
- Sterling silver
- 18 inches long
- 2 inch pendant