Stunning Stories in Native American Jewelry

For thousands of years, artisans have expressed their cultural stories in a wide range of jewelry: showing off local and prized trade materials, expressing traditional symbols, and perfecting new techniques and designs adapted from other cultures. Native and non-Native peoples have cherished Native American made jewelry not just for its intrinsic beauty, but especially for the cultural stories and symbolism the jewelry shares. It can be worn every day or for special events and rights of passage. It often represents social status, identity, assimilation, as well as solidarity with cultural preservation. Native American jewelry is even worn to embody the powers of animals and deities and remind us of our internal strengths. The exhibit displays over 80 exquisite pieces from the museum’s collection and local collectors. The exhibit also shares the multi-faceted stories each piece tells about the preservation of culture, histories, and spirituality in the face of cross-cultural assimilation.