The Navajo (also called Dineh, "people") are originally from the northern part of the American territory. Their nomadic way of life led them to gradually settle in the West from the 15th century. Their current territory is vast: it stretches from New Mexico to Arizona and includes a southern part of Utah.
It is while moving to the West that the Navajo meet a sedentary people, the Pueblo, known to live in their traditional flat-roofed houses: The Adobe Houses. The two peoples, after engaging in a territorial war, ended up cohabiting in a cordial understanding and sharing traditions: corn growing, blanket weaving, and jewelry making.
Artists by nature, the Navajo have borrowed various skills while adapting them and creating their own style. It is around 1850 that their craft was refined and gave birth to their exceptional jewelry so well-known today. The Navajos generally work the turquoise in its most possible natural state, leaving it in its original form, bigger, rougher, to make spectacular pieces.
Navajo jewelry has become emblematic and can be found throughout history, movies and fashion. Just to name a few examples: Think of Jim Morrison's Concho belt, Johnny Halliday's rings, Lenny Kravitz's ornaments... all are traditional Navajo pieces that you can find at Harpo.