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Native American Beaded Medallion Necklace in Black & White

  • 10300

Maria Godines, from the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, created this beaded medallion necklace in black and white with accents. Maria explains that her beaded necklaces represent Columbia River Native beadwork particularly well because they include many of the region’s important types of beads and techniques of beading. Using seed beads, Maria beaded the circular medallion on a brain-tanned buckskin backing. For the part of the necklace that will lie closer to the neck, Maria used long tubular white dentalia beads made from tusk-shaped ocean mollusks; double strands of black, red, orange, yellow, and white seed beads; black beads made from bone; and round metallic spacer beads. For the front section of the necklace above both sides of the medallion, Maria has strung long sections of traditional wampum beads (made from channeled whelk shells) and has added tubes of peyote stitched beadwork. Hanging below the medallion are four strands of dentalia and cowry shells (a type of sea snail). The beauty of dentalia beads is that even if they snap, they still look good on the necklace. Maria uses an artificial sinew to string all of her necklaces. This necklace is 32 inches from end to end (excluding the medallion). Because of the length of the necklace, no clasp is needed. The medallion is about 1 5/8 inches in diameter, and the lower beaded strands dangle 2 3/4 inches below it.

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