Native American Bolo Ties
What’s A Bolo Tie?
Bolo ties have been the replacement accessory for the cloth neck ties in the southwest United States region for many years. A bolo tie usually consists of a braided cord with metal tips on the ends, and a decorative piece in the center that is made to slide up or down to be worn close to the neck, or further down as a more casual look. Our authentic Indian USA handcrafted bolo ties and tips are all made of sterling silver. Some of the more expensive bolo cord tips are handmade, but the majority of them are manufactured. The cord is usually a 36,” 4-ply leather cord hand braided by a Native American. The lengths might vary and the number of ply’s in the braid might also vary to make heavier and/or longer cords.
The main body of the bolo is made of sterling silver and can have many configurations due to the tribal affiliation and the artistic preference of the Native American silversmith. While mostly worn by men, a considerable number of women have embraced the bolo as an interesting accessory to their wardrobe. Our jewelry is made by Navajos, Zunis, Hopis, and assorted Rio Grande Pueblo artists. The stone and tribal differences will be noted in the next paragraph.
All of the tribes do make jewelry in all of the following styles; however some tribes are most noted for particular styles. Navajos are the major producer of cabochon styles. Zuni Pueblo Indians are the major producer of the inlay, needlepoint and petit point type of jewelry.
Cabochons are more naturally shaped stones that have silver work to enhance the stone. Needlepoint stones are cut to have sharp points on each end, like a needle, and are placed in a designed shape or shapes of silver. Petit point stones are cut and are smaller round, oval, rectangle, triangle, and pear shaped or even small squares called “chicklets,” placed in a designed shape or shapes of bezels. Channel inlay has dividers between the stones of thin slivers of sterling silver. Stone on stone inlay has no silver dividers and the stones are fitted to sit next to each other with little or no gap. These stones might be turquoise, or other semi-precious stones, or mixtures of these stones. All of these stone styles are commonly made in the modern bolos.
The Style of The Hopi
Hopi artists rarely will use any stones in their designs. Rather, they are masters of intricate overlay. This artistic technique requires the artist to cut out a preconceived design on a sheet of sterling silver. Once the design is fully cut and complete, the artist then overlays and solders this sheet onto another sterling silver sheet to create an impressive 3-D image or design. Although this artful technique can be construed as being of a simpler design, it requires much skill and the end result is no less than amazing!
Offering sterling silver Native American jewelry handcrafted in the USA is the fundamental “business mantra” of SilverTQ, LLC. Imported or imitation jewelry of any kind is not what we sell. No matter the style or styles of these expertly handcrafted pieces of wearable art, you can be assured complete satisfaction. Individually made, one at a time, each piece to be cherished and worn proudly.
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