Antique "Thunderbird" motif necklace circa 1940's - Santo Domingo pueblo, New Mexico

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Antique "Thunderbird" motif necklace circa 1940's - Santo Domingo pueblo, New Mexico

449.00

Antique "Thunderbird" motif necklace circa 1940's - Santo Domingo pueblo, New Mexico

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Antique "Thunderbird" motif necklace circa 1940's - Santo Domingo pueblo, New Mexico

A rare find... This unique "Thunderbird" motif necklace is a surviving testament to the artistry and determination of the Native peoples of the southwest. Crafted during the WWII era, this Thunderbird necklace was purposefully handmade from very non-traditional components. The Native Americans of the southwest recognized that silver, gold and other metals were essential to the war effort. Native Americans of the southwest stopped using the metals needed for the war effort but maintained creating their artistry using other, non-traditional mediums.

This Thunderbird necklace was handmade from salvaged automobile parts. The black and red on this necklace were handcrafted from an automobile battery. The white is natural bone. To maintain tradition, the Santo Domingo artists used genuine turquoise to bring it all together.

The necklace is still strung with the wool string it was originally assembled with back then. Necklaces such as this were considered "kitch" or "tourist souvenirs" by many non-Native visitors to the Southwest. Due to the early perception these necklaces were not "serious" Native American jewelry, very few survived. 

Left in the original condition as found, this WWII era Thunderbird necklace is in 95% condition. The necklace is missing just two pieces of the original red battery terminal parts. 

Set to fit a 24 inch neckline, this necklace is still wearable. A Southwestern jewelry relic from the WWII era - circa 1940's this Thunderbird necklace is one of the more unique, artful and unusual aspects of Native American culture.