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Firekeeper Kachina Pendant

1997 Esther Wood Born: 1946 sterling silver and China Mt. turquoise 4 3/4 x 2 1/4 x 1/2 in. (12.2 x 5.7 x 1.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Karl and Patricia Stoermer in honor of Esther Wood, Navajo Silversmith 1997.87 Not currently on view


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Esther Wood based this piece on her Navajo beliefs and upbringing. Kachinas are supernatural beings central to the spiritual beliefs of the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. During religious ceremonies, men impersonate these spirits and girls receive kachina dolls that are used for prayer. This pendant depicts a kachina doll of the Fire Keeper, who appears in the Navajo creation story. Turquoise is a sacred stone of the Navajo, who for centuries have regarded it as a symbol of the heavens and as a protective talisman.

Keywords

Abstract

Ethnic - Indian

Figure female - full length

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

metal - silver

stone - turquoise