November 10 2014
Native American jewelry is a major source of inspiration for me. I remember being young and eyeing my mom's squash blossom necklace with envy (although she was generous enough to let me borrow it as I got older). I find the mix of geometric shapes and earthy materials really appealing. Talk about layering to perfection – those adorable girls in the photo got it down.
As you can probably tell, the Naja necklace was based on a traditional squash blossom. "Naja" is the Navajo name for the inverted crescent shape, which has been used throughout history as a symbol for fertility and protection. The term "squash blossom" refers to the spacer beads with flowering ends that you see on customary necklaces (which I have modified on my version). This flower is actually believed not to represent a squash blossom, but a pomegranate, which was a symbol for Granada, Spain, and worn by Spanish men. The motif was adopted by Mexicans who came to the Southwest, and then seen and adopted again by the Navajo.