Date: 19th Century if not earlier
Media: Shell, turquoise
Dimensions: 2 3/8″ x 2 1/8 x 3/4″
Description: This is a highly unusual and rare shell pendant. The shell has been carved to show two hands wrapping around in a gathering expression, very similar to a naja used at the end of a horse bridle or the end of a squash necklace. The age on this is early, but how early we do not know. I assume the imagery comes from the naja. However, if this is early historic to prehistoric, the shape of the hands could predate the arrival of the Spanish to the Southwest. A solo turquoise drilled bead has been inlaid into the shell at the juncture point for the two arms. It is as if the turquoise bead is hanging from the neck of the human that owns the embracing arms. The wear to the shell is wonderful, as it is smooth and silky.
Provenance: A private collection in Albuquerque. This was collected in the 1960s and came directly out of the Pueblo.
Condition: Condition is original without restoration.