Culture

    Art as a basis of expression can mean a number of things-- or perhaps a more fitting definition; art has a number of means of execution in which a message or purpose consequently expresses or reiterates as a result. It can be social or political beliefs: a passion for animals or plants, nature in general, beauty of the world, beauty in people. Art can be melancholy or jovial. It can be a sketch, painting, sculpture, or it can just be. Today's artist is influenced by his culture and spreads the love of it through jewelry; which he creates and obtains from far places. Allow me to introduce: Alejandro Nunez.

His passion resides in his heritage,
    "I am Mexica, Otomi, and Chichimeca. My Indigenous name is Tezcacoatl Xipilli Tepiltzin," and his products range:
    "I make jewelry that is handmade. I get almost any stone in the world and get legally obtained animal claws and teeth. Black bear, grizzly bear, wolf, mountain lion, Mexican crocodile, coyote, bobcat, and lynx. I make jewelry from animal parts using real materials like jade, turquoise, or silver beads. I get customized jewelry... I sell and get Aztec death, jaguar, eagle, owl, llorona, and other whistles including wind instruments like ocarinas and flutes handmade by Indigenous Mexican artisans."
   As the natives had no written language, jewelry held an important role in telling the tales of the people and hold a special place in their history. 
    "Native American jewelry production began as early as 12,000 years ago. Paleo-Indians transformed materials like shell and stone into wearable jewelry, and tribes across America followed suit with the materials available to them. Animal and fish bones could be carved into ornate pendants, while stones, shells, and coral could be chipped into tiny beads for necklaces or clothing decorations. (History of Native American Jewelry • Casoro Jewelry Safes.)" 
    Certain kinds of jewelry (and the amount worn) showed status: such as chokers, rings, bracelets, earrings --while others (such as headdresses and breastplates)-- were worn for special occasions.  
    There are many stones used to create jewelry, but there is one specific stone that holds a higher place than them all; the treasured Turquoise. Turquoise was and is a treasured material throughout many tribes, and held an extremely important role in the trade economy of the natives after European involvement. Not only was it treasured for its beauty, but it, like many other stones, held a strong symbolism within the tribes.
    "It is known for its healing energy, and as a protector. If you're wearing a turquoise ring and look down and see a crack in your stone, the Native Americans would say "the stone took it," meaning the stone took the blow that you were supposed to receive. (N/A. “Native American Turquoise Jewelry.” Dakota Sky Stone, 7 Aug. 2020, www.dakotaskystone.com/.)

     Symbolism adds a certain dynamic to any art piece.  Paired with intricate metal bending around the stones and you have yourself a very eye-catching accessory. If you'd like to see more of what Nunez has to offer, follow the link beneath his picture below. If you'd like to learn more about rocks and what they symbolize to native tribes, follow this link:
    

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