Early Necklace…

by forrest fenn

Many of the objects in my collection are significant in a very small depiction of world history. Most are more interesting than they are important. Nevertheless, it is necessary for me to remember that each piece represents who we once were in a time that used to be, and that I will never be anything more than its temporary custodian. 



basketThis may be the first necklace in North America, or at least one of the first. It was made by a Basketmaker I Indian whose people lived in the Southwest about 1200 BC. Their name came from the large number of baskets that were found in their dwellings, mostly caves and rock shelters. They didn’t learn to make pottery until much later. Can you believe these people were wearing turquoise jewelry 2,500 years before they acquired the bow and arrow?


In the summer they ran around mostly aur paur but when the temperature got low they wore clothing made from hides and vegetal materials. It’s not that they were frugal life-style enthusiasts because hard was all they knew. The odds of a baby living the first year were one in ten.


I found this necklace on a friend’s ranch in Arizona. The turquoise came from the Tiffany Mine in New Mexico, near San Lazaro Pueblo, and the cordage was made from a chewed yucca leaf. Notice that the pendants were tied on instead of strung, which allowed them to lay flat and show off their beauty. No matter how tough life was for primitive cultures around the world there was always time for religion and jewelry.