This beautifully balanced sterling silver turtle pendant has a hook on the back. As you can see, it can hook on to many different sizes of beads. It is signed "NF" on the back. While this is a the type of overlay jewelry technique that Hopi jewelers are famous for, we do not know if it is Hopi made. The turquoise beads are sold separately. More about the Hopi overlay technique and turtles below.
Size: 1.75" x 1.25" W
Traditional Hopi overlay jewelry begins as two sheets of sterling silver. The shape of the piece is hand sawn out. The bottom sheet is etched by hand hand and then oxidized to make it black. The designs on the top sheet are sawn out by hand and soldered onto the bottom. This piece was then shaped into a slight dome.
Turtles have their own homes on their backs which means that wherever they are, they are home. They are associated with safety. When attacked they retreat into their shells, although some turtles have strong enough mouths to snap a finger. For most Native American nations in North America, turtles represent Mother Earth. Every turtle shell has 13 sections on top which some Native Americans say represent the 13 moons of each year.