¤ Squash blossom necklaces are one of our most unique items here at Child of Wild. Their rustic feel and hand made design make them a one of a kind accessory to intensify any outfit. Not only are squash blossom necklaces intriguing to look at, their symbolism reaches as far back as the Paleolithic period. Take a journey with us as we trace the roots of the beautiful squash blossom. ¤
¤ The two main components of the squash blossom necklace are the inverted crescent pendant that hangs centrally and the flower beads that symmetrically frame it on either side. ¤
¤ The upside down crescent ~ referred to by the Navajo as the naja ~ is a common symbol circulated by many world cultures. Universally, the inverted crescent is a symbol worn to ward off bad luck or the ‘evil eye.’ Originally used by the Moors in the Middle Ages, this emblem ornamented horse bridles to ensure the horse and its rider a safe journey or successful conquest. ¤
¤ The Spanish and Portuguese adopted this custom upon witnessing its use by the Moors and brought it with them when they traveled to South and Central America. The trend soon caught on in Mexico and then reached the neighboring Navajo. ¤
¤ The Navajo squash blossom necklace is the most widely recognized form of the inverted crescent in today’s society. However, the naja, traditionally thought of as a repellant of bad energy, holds a very different meaning for the Navajo. ¤
¤ In Native American culture, the squash blossom necklace is a highly esteemed symbol that marks their transition from a raiding society to a mercantile one. Within the tribe, prestige was once earned through ransacking and pillaging, however since the manufacturing of squash blossom accessories, a man or woman could instead pride themselves upon their craftsmanship and silverwork. ¤
¤ Around the 1800s, floral beads were added to squash blossom necklaces. The squash blossom necklace receives its name from these beads; however, the name is a misnomer. The floral shape actually resembles the Spanish-Mexican pomegranate blossom, not the squash blossom. The pomegranate blossom is the symbol of Granada, Spain so it is likely the Navajo received these beads from the Spanish and their name was mistranslated during the transaction. The first beads were made purely of silver, but over time they became more and more elaborate with the addition of turquoise and other natural stones. ¤
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