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Early Navajo works from the 1870s are generally clean, plain silver pieces, marked by simple surface decoration (punched and stamped).Some of the more commonly used designs may have been derived from Spanish colonial horse gear and male dress ornamentation.For instance, Navajo Indian silversmiths, working from 1870 to 1900, learned the stamping of Indian ornaments from Mexican leather workers, rather than from the silversmiths who had taught them. Hubbell hired several Mexican silversmiths to teachthe craft to Navajos at his trading post in Ganado, Arizona.Navajo Silversmith, Atsidi Sani Atsidi Sani taught his four sons to craft silver and they, in turn, taught others. The Navajos learned to cast silver in sandstone or tufa as well as produce hand-hammered work. Hubbell capitalized on its popularity by importing Persian turquoise for trade to the Navajos.Turquoise, a traditional favorite of the Navajos, began to be combined with silverwork in their making of American Indian jewelry the 1880s. Eventually, the local supply of turquoise increased as more mines were opened.Navajo Silversmith, 1930Originally, Navajo Indians made silver jewelry for themselves or for other Indians.Zuni Indian Drilling Turquoise, 1930However, early Zuni Indian jewelry-making efforts often took the form of collaborations between Navajos and Zuni Indians, in which a Navajo smith would cast a silver piece-by sandcasting or another method-and a Zuni Indian lapidarist would set in the stones. Wallace, who stimulated sales and new directions for Zuni Indian jewelry.Zuni Indian was also the site of much Indian trader. At the start of the twentieth century, beadmaker Zuni Indian Dick was well known for teaching turquoise grinding and shaping for personal adornment, and he often appears in the photographs of visiting ethnographers and recorders of life in Zuni Indian Pueblo.

The earliest Hopi Indian metal ornaments were usually items salvaged from discarded brass bullet cartridges and copper wire.

Like other Pueblo peoples, Zuni Indian artisans possess a true talent for lapidary work.

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, many Zuni Indian craftspeople learned silversmithing as well.

In the mid- to late 1930s, Hopi Indian jewelry was promoted and championed by the Museum of Northern Arizona in nearby Flagstaff.

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The publication of Frank Waters's The Book of the Hopi Indian (1963), reignited non-native interest in the Hopi Indian world-view, with its descriptions of legends, rituals, and ceremonies.Navajo smiths often made silver settings, known as "blanks," that were then set with stones by Zuni (or Pueblo) lapidarists.