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Native American Silver / Turquoise / Bear Claw Necklace

Native American, Southwest, Zuni, ca. 1920s CE. A striking Zuni squash blossom necklace, with ten Black Bear claws, each set in a silver casing with a stylized geometric design comprised of turquoise, jet, Mother of Pearl, and coral inlays, strung with round silver beads, a single strand around the neck that leads to a double strand from which the bear claw pendants are suspended; the marvelous central pendant comprised of a pair of bear claw beads with a silver squash blossom between. Size: 26" L (66 cm); central pendant measures 4.65" W x 1.75" H (11.8 cm x 4.4 cm)

Bear claws are particularly cherished by virtually every Native American tribe, figuring prominently in their mythology. In most Native American cultures, the bear is considered a medicine being with magical powers, and plays a major role in various religious ceremonies. They are typically associated with healing and medicine. Since bears continue fighting, even after they have been seriously injured, Native Americans often believed they were capable of healing their wounds. Beyond this, bears also serve as universal symbols of strength and wisdom.

Condition: Bear claws show nice age with some expected wear and losses. Inlays intact. Silver beads which show expected tarnish have held their shape.

Provenance: Ex-Private Georgia Collection; acquired from Daniel Berke in 1995.

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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