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Home > Silver Bolo Ties

Silver Bolo Ties

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Silver Bolo Tie
 
 
Silver Bolo Ties and in particular Sterling Silver Bolo Ties are an important part of bolo tie culture and jewelry making. Silver is a top metal used in bolo tie fabrication and in particular Sterling Silver and Turquoise Bolo Ties. Silver looks great and is known to be durable and affordable relative to a precious metal of jewelry.
 
Despite their inherent love of ornamentation and jewelry, the Indians of the Southwest did not learn to work with silver until the latter part of the 19th century. Before that they acquired the few silver ornaments they owned through trade with Hispanic settlers and neighboring Plains Indians. The Plains people had acquired their silver in trade with English, French and American trappers.
 
One of the first native metalsmiths was a Navajo known as Atsidi Sani who learned, around 1850, to form black metal from a Mexican blacksmith living in the New Mexico territory. In 1853, Indian agent Henry Dodge moved to a house near Fort Defiance and married a Navajo woman. Dodge brought with him a blacksmith and a Mexican silversmith. Years later, after the Navajos were released from their five-year confinement at Fort Sumner, (Bosque Redondo), Atsidi Sani came to the Indian agency to observe the two smiths at work and refine his primitive metalworking skills.
 
Scientific testing has proven that some ancient beads found in central and South America were originally dug from the Cerrillos turquoise mines near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
 
When the Europeans brought the technology of working metals like silver with them to the new world, the American Indians who learned the silver smith trade learned eventually began to add turquoise with the silver to develop their own special style of jewelry. A Zuni man by the name of Kineshde is believed to be the first to add turquoise to the hand crafted silver items he was making in the late 1800s.
 

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