“Some of the biggest failures I ever had were successes”
Native Americans from the Arctic and Canadian coasts have always believed that everything in nature is not only physical, but also has a powerful spirit. Many archeological sites show that, as early as 10,000 years ago, Paleo Native Americans were wearing earrings made from natural materials such as abalone, walrus and mammoth ivory, found pebbles, shells, etc. These earrings were probably thought to possess special powers of protection associated with the spirit of the piece.
When the Russians began to explore and trade in this region in 1740, it was natural for the natives to begin to use the new trade goods such as beads, in conjunction with their older natural materials, for jewelry such as earrings. Our contemporary interpretation is of a pair of earrings which were originally made with abalone shell. (Note that the shimmer seen in abalone shell, pearls and in the fringes of weavings is considered a manifestation of the spiritual power of the garment or adornment.) The Tlingits, especially, began to design and wear in the Russian tradition – with Blue Lapis, mammoth and walrus ivory, and abalone, as well as seedbeads and gemstones. The forms, however, took their shapes from traditional ancient Tlingit designs.
Our Tlingit earrings are made with such materials: Sterling Silver earwires has a Tlingit shield, from which hangs a Lapis bead and a cross section of Fossil Walrus Ivory. A striking pair of earrings which you will want to wear for almost every occasion!
1 3/4 inch high, 1/2 inch wide.