Small hand-cut Sleeping Beauty turquoise "snake-eye" gems are in these beautiful naja dangle earrings by Erline James. Each small turquoise gem is set in a smooth bezel. The naja earrings are sterling silver with posts, 2 1/8" by 7/8" and are light and easy to wear. The earrings are signed by the artist.
The naja is a crescent-shaped piece that is often worn alone as a pendant or as the center piece of a squash blossom necklace in Southwestern Indian jewelry. The naja design shape is thought to have originated from the Moorish and then borrowed from the Spanish that was used as an ornamental design on horse bridle headstalls and as silver decorations on men' pants.
The word "naja". is the Navajo word for "crescent". Navajo Indian silversmiths began incorporating the naja design into their jewelry. The Navajo were the main Indian tribe that made the najas but they were also made by some Pueblo tribes as well.
The early najas were cast or hammered pendants that were simply decorated with chiseled or stamped designs. The naja would have a bail, loop or hook to attach it to a necklace. Some naja pendants were designed with a pin clasp on back so that the pendant could be taken off of a necklace and worn as a pin or brooch on clothing. The crescent-shaped naja was mainly added as a center piece to a necklace in what has become known as the squash blossom necklace. Today, the naja design is incorporated not just in pendants and necklaces but also earrings and bracelets as well.
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Canada, Australia, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Finland, Austria, Japan, Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland, Scotland, New Zealand
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