Jewelry from the Zuni Pueblo, south of Gallup, New Mexico, has always made up many of the “tourist” style earrings that were so popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
These earrings were small and comfortable to wear. They were also relatively inexpensive. In addition to turquoise, Zuni smiths used everything from coral to jet to shell and anything in between.
Some are inlaid, and some are set with stones or other materials shaped into dots or narrow football shape pieces that became known as “needlepoint.” Some inlaid earrings were geometric shapes and designs, and some depicted traditional Zuni figures such as Knife Wing Dancers or Kachinas.
More modern earrings from people like Dennis and Nancy Edakie depict intricately inlaid pictures of animals and birds.
Many early earrings were made with clips or screw-backs. It was not easy to convert these to post earrings twenty years ago, but today with modern electronic soldering equipment, it can be done easily. If someone likes an earring with a clip or screw, we are happy to have them converted for a modest charge.
Nearly all of the Zuni earrings on our site are from the 1960s through the 1970s. These decades were a period of classic artistry in the village.
During this time, interest in Native American art experienced a boom. The perfect gift from someone visiting the West was a pair of earrings handmade by a Navajo or Zuni silversmith. The perfect tourist earring of yesterday is a collectible today.
And it is important to remember that no one who wears earrings has too many!