The Pueblo people
Authentic villages full of history
The Pueblo Indians are direct descendants of the Anasazi, a people of gatherers and farmers who dispersed to New Mexico and Arizona during the 14th century. Settling along the Rio Grande (a river that originates in Colorado and extends into New Mexico), they created what we know today as 19 Pueblos (villages), which can be identified by their traditional flat-roofed mud brick houses (Adobe Houses).
Although these villages and tribes share common cultural traits, they are distinguished by their languages and their jewelry making skills, which we are proud to show in the HARPO store. Indeed, among the most famous Pueblo tribes, you can find at HARPO beautiful jewelry representative of the Kewa, Zuni and Hopi pueblos.
Pueblo craftsmanship: several tribes mastering several skills
Some Pueblo villages are also known for their beautiful and impressive pottery work and for the creation of jewelry made of Heishi beads and mosaics of shells and stones. Especially in the village of Santo Domingo (also called "Kewa"), artisans still active today are known for their jewelry work.
Santo Domingo is the heart of the Heishi beads craft. The word Heishi itself comes from the Kewa word "keres" which means "shell". This long and meticulous beading process takes raw materials (shells, turquoise and other stones native to the United States) which are first cut into small squares, then pierced and spun in their center. Then comes the stage of grinding and polishing, giving birth to pearls in the form of small tubes or pucks, with a smooth and uniform finish.
Discover the Pueblo craft jewels we have at HARPO
In a different style but requiring equally traditional and impressive craftsmanship, Santo Domingo is known to be home to some Pueblo artists who excel in a certain category of Native American jewelry made in "mosaic inlay". This Native jewelry technique is recognized by a base of natural materials such as stones, wood, shells... on which the artist composes a mosaic with contrasting colors, to create iconic and recognizable pieces, some of which are present in our store.