Navajo Copper Jewelry January 28 2015
Copper, initially traded from tribes near the Coppermine River in the interior, was worked into jewelry even before European contact. Later, silver and gold became popular materials for jewelry. Bracelets in particular are hammered and then carved with heraldic or mythic designs, and given away at potlatches.
The Navajo, or Diné, began working silver in the 19th century. Navajo metalsmiths make buckles, bridles, buttons, rings, canteens, hollow beads, earrings, crescent-shaped pendants (called "najas"), bracelets, crosses, powder chargers, tobacco canteens, and disks, known as "conchas" or conchos" - typically used to decorate belts - made from copper, steel, iron, and most commonly, silver.