Select Page

Story by IARC collections assistant Molly Winslow

In our recent In the Vaults series, we are sharing some of our staff favorites from the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) collection—here is a piece that was selected by former IARC collections manager Lisa H. Barrera.

Lisa Hsu Barrera
Iva Honyestewa

former IARC collections manager Lisa H. Barrera; Earrings. Artist unknown Zuni, 1890-1930. Silver and turquoise, IAF.S61AB. Photograph by Addison Doty. Copyright 2009 School for Advanced Research.

Made by an unknown Zuni artist between 1890 and 1930, these earrings each have two horizontally hung plates with three turquoise sets on each plate and four silver pendants dangling from the bottom plate. It was pointed out by Zuni community members Jim Enote and Octavius Seowtewa during a 2011 collection review visit that none of the wires were soldered, only bent. Lisa noted that they are, “perfectly balanced” and that, “the four pendants hanging from the bottom plate are so delicate that I can imagine them making a tinkling sound when worn. The turquoise stones encased in silver show the craftsmanship of the maker” 

Lisa remembers seeing them for the first time while making jewelry storage mounts when she was an Anne Ray Intern in 2012. New to Southwestern jewelry, she was fascinated by them. Since then she says, “every time I go to Indian Market or anywhere else that sells Southwestern jewelry, I am on the lookout for something similar, however, I have never found anything close. I will continue to dream about wearing these timeless treasures!”.  

Click on the link below to see more about these earrings on our eMuseum. There are also 200 other pieces of jewelry available on eMuseum for you to explore. Keep a look out for future posts with more staff picks from the IARC collection! 

See the earrings on our eMuseum 

Visit the eMuseum

and explore thousands of works of Native American art from the Indian Arts Research Center collections including the earrings described above.