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Home > Navajo Bolo Ties brought sophistication to this wearable art form

Navajo Bolo Ties brought sophistication to this wearable art form

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Navajo Tommy Singer Sterling Silver Turquoise Bolo Tie
 

Traditionally thought of as cowboy attire, bolo ties are very popular in Native American culture. It’s easy to spoke Navajo Bolo Ties made with fine silver and turquoise stones.

It was Native American jewelers and silversmiths in particular who brought sophistication to this wearable art form whose acknowledged antecedent was a metal scarf slide worn by both Native American and Anglo men in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
 
The internationally-known collector and antique dealer also teamed up with the museum’s Curator of Collections, Diana Pardue, to author a definitive bible on bolos, a 150-page treatise titled simply Native American Bolo Ties. “Early bolos made by Indians were known by so many different names—tie slides, string ties, bootlace ties, piggin’ string, lariats—they were largely ignored in publications on American Indian jewelry and we wanted to bring that story to light because the innovations, creativity, and individuality involved is just tremendous,” Pardue says.
 
“Native American artists began making "slide ties" for personal use in the 1920s. Discussing the origin of the bolo tie,The New York Timesreported that in the 1930s, “Indian men wore bandanas clasped with a silver conch or shell.” Navajo Bolo Ties are so popular that in Septembe of 2012 The Heard Musuem had an exhibit dedicated to Native American Bolo Ties.
 
 

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