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Fine, Shell, Coral & Silver Bead Necklace with Bear Claws
Southwestern United States, probably Sioux People
early 20th century

length: 64cm, weight: 15g

This very fine necklace is made of small red coral, white shell and silver beads with five small bear claws, all strung on old native twine.

The use of shell is important as it is said to have symbolised water to a people for whom predictable rainfall was essential for their crops.

Bear claws were worn by leaders and their family members only.

It is from the native people of the Southwest of the United States, most probably the Dakota Sioux people.

The necklace is wearable and stable.

References:
Sherr Dubin, L.,
The Worldwide History of Beads, Thames & Hudson, 2009.

Provenance: private collection, London.

Inventory no.: 3665 SOLD

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