Hopi jewelry styles use a wide variety of designs
mostly with religious and tribal symbols, including
those concerning beliefs about animals, nature, and
Hopi Indian jewelry is traditionally represented in
boxes, buckles, and bracelets of silver cutouts
overlaid on a dark background.
The Hopi jewelry patterns are taken from
traditional pottery and basketwork designs.
These are then sawed out of a sheet of silver,
and sweat-soldered onto a solid sheet.
After shaping, the design is blackened by
oxidization to make it contrast with the polished
It has an unusual modern effect, and actually|
has more versatile uses with today's clothes
than the Navajo or Zuni Indian silver jewelry.
As part of an effort to differentiate Hopi
jewelry styles from the Navajo and Zuni,
curator's from the Museum of Northern
Arizona encourage early silversmith's to try new techniques. World War II delayed their efforts.
By 1946, veterans from World War II enrolled in silver smithing classes sponsored by the
government which provided them with not only training, but also the tools to work silver effectively.
These early students included Victor Coochwytewa, Paul Saufkie and Fred Kabotie
who are credited with developing the renowned overlay technique used by the
Hopi today. Copyright 2012
Below are examples of today's Hopi overlay jewelry technique. Both are available on necklaces. Click the "Buy
Hopi Indian Jewelry" link above: