Collection: squash blossom necklace

Introduction to Squash Blossom Necklaces

The squash blossom necklace is a striking piece of jewelry with deep cultural and historical significance, particularly among Native American tribes, most notably the Navajo. Recognizable by its unique crescent-shaped pendant called the "naja" and the flared bead designs resembling squash blossoms, this necklace is often made of sterling silver and turquoise. The origins of the squash blossom necklace trace back to the late 19th century, influenced by Spanish and Moorish motifs. Today, it remains a symbol of artistry, heritage, and identity within Native American communities.

Historical Background

The squash blossom necklace first emerged among the Navajo in the late 1800s. The design was inspired by the silverwork introduced by Spanish colonists and the Moorish crescent motif. Navajo silversmiths adapted these elements into their own unique style, integrating traditional symbols and materials, particularly turquoise, which holds spiritual significance.

Design Elements

The Naja

The naja, the centerpiece of the necklace, is a crescent-shaped pendant that historically symbolized protection and fertility. It often features intricate silverwork and inlaid turquoise stones, adding to its aesthetic and symbolic value.

Squash Blossoms

The necklace gets its name from the squash blossom beads, which are silver beads with flared ends resembling the blossom of the squash plant. These beads are spaced along the necklace strand, contributing to its distinctive appearance.

Cultural Significance

For the Navajo and other tribes, the squash blossom necklace is more than just adornment; it represents cultural identity, craftsmanship, and resilience. It is often worn during significant ceremonies and passed down through generations as heirlooms.

Modern Interpretations

Today, squash blossom necklaces continue to be handcrafted by Native American artisans, maintaining traditional methods while also incorporating contemporary designs. These necklaces are highly valued in both the fashion world and among collectors of Native American art.


The squash blossom necklace is a beautiful embodiment of cultural synthesis and artistic expression. Whether viewed as a piece of jewelry or a cultural artifact, it stands as a testament to the rich heritage and enduring legacy of Native American craftsmanship.

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