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December 2021 Press Highlights



(Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month)

The Enduring Power Of Turquoise Jewelry In Native American Cultures

And what it means today. by BY HILARY GEORGE-PARKIN


“We hoard our turquoise because it’s our way of life,” says Puebloan jewelry artist Rey Pacheco, who works alongside her husband Farrell. “Some people invest in stocks; our stocks are our stones. And it’s truly an investment because when you cut into rock, you never know if it’s going to crumble or if it’s going to stay solid.”

Many of the Pacheco’s designs, including the fantail necklace that won Farrell top prize at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market in 2018, feature mosaic inlay, a technique in which tiny, irregular pieces of stone are arranged piece by piece. The style has a meaningful history among Puebloan jewelers, who, during the Great Depression, inlaid jewelry not just with turquoise and shell, but also with found materials like plastic from car-battery casings and fast-food utensils. Thunderbird jewelry, as it was known, became popular among tourists and helped the tribe endure the hardships of the era.”