The corn necklace is made of large dried then dyed corn kernels. These are then strung together to become a rainbow of bright colors. The necklaces are a testament to the importance of corn as a staple for the Southwest Indians. Corn is one of the ‘three sisters’ of sustenance, corn, beans and squash. Of the three, corn reigns supreme and is celebrated in myth, ritual and dance.
The best and most fascinating time to visit one of the pueblos around Santa Fe is during a pueblo feast day. A corn dance is a signature event in many of these feast days celebration.
Attending a pueblo feast day and witnessing a corn dance is a great experience for visitors of all ages. The Nambe’ corn dance held my 6-year-old twin grandsons utterly spellbound.
Your Santa Fe Footprints guide will be able to provide you with information on all the pueblo feast days and dances.
Blankets have long been important for both Indian and early Spanish settlers of New Mexico. They provided warmth, shelter and possible most important, status. Many tribes had long established weaving traditions. Indians began to acquire machine-made blankets in the late 19th century. This was done mostly as a matter of convenience. These became known as Indian trading blankets. These trade blankets became a standard medium of exchange in the old west trading post.
Pendleton Woolen Mills was founded in 1889. They became a well-known manufacture of these trading blankets. Pendleton designers gathered information from tribes across the country to determine the preferred designs, colors and geometric shapes for this market.
The Navajo are celebrated for their excellent hand weaving skills. The Pendleton blankets are still considered an enduring symbol of their culture.
Your Santa Fe Footprints guide will provide you with the history of art in Santa Fe and also advise on the locations for excellent Indian blankets.
You’re in Santa Fe and you have heard about the ‘Squash Blossom’. Is it some kind of weird local flower? No. It’s a very distinctive Santa Fe necklace. It is distinguished by a large crescent shaped pendant hanging from a chain of silver beads. The crescent shape has its origins in the Middle East. It is believed to protect the wearer from the ‘evil eye’. Spanish conquistadors brought this style to New Mexico. Navajo silversmiths, under the influence of New Mexican jewelries, evolved to create their own unique style. The fluted beads of the chain are made to resemble the native squash blooms.
Originally made purely of silver, now turquoise has become an integral part of the squash blossom.
The squash blossom is just one of many spectacular pieces of jewelry made by local artist to be found in Santa Fe. Your Santa Fe Footprints guide will inform you of the history of Santa Fe art and as a bonus point you in the right direction for the best deals and most authentic pieces.