Few fashion jewelry statements are specific to a locale, but
the Native American bolo, or bola, tie is synopsis with the Western
United States, especially Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Mid
20th century bolo ties were designed and made by Zuni, Hopi and
Navajo silversmiths, and were at first, basically a sliding component
designed to keep a bandana from coming off from around the neck.
Even though the
history of how the bolo tie came into being is clouded, many
feel that the history began with Victor E. Cedarstaff, a Native
American silversmith and leather worker who lived in Wickenburg,
Arizona in the 1940s. Cedarstaff was among some cowboys that
were chasing after some wild horses when Cedarstaff's silver-bordered
hatband slipped off, making him lose his hat. He retraced his
steps to find his hat and hatband and slipped the hatband over
his neck for safekeeping.
decided to create a line of ties inspired by the incident. He
braided leather, placed silver tips on the ends to keep them
from fraying and then joined the strands with a turquoise stone
to be used as an adjustable clasp. He applied for a patent, calling
his creation the bola tie, named after the boleadoras cords (a
throwing weapon made of round weights suspended from woven leather
cording) worn by Argentinean cowboys. This iconic style changed
the course of western wear!
the early designs included inlaid turquoise and shell, making
these early bolo ties rare and beautiful. Today, Native American
bolo ties utilize almost any material that can be inlaid into
sterling silver, raising the bar for artistic license.
Symbol of the
West is inspired by the early bolo styles. A "woven"
peyote stitch cord ends in two bezeled metal ovals and a decorative
pearl and beaded cap. The slide is actually stationery in this
design. An oval metal component is the backdrop for a bezeled
CZ and pear CZ drop. A bolo tie taken to another level!
Workshop length: This is a 1-day workshop
exclusively designed for The Heart of Texas Bead Retreat 2020.
Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced.
No skills needed for the metal. These techniques will be taught
component is 1.25 inches high by 2 inches wide plus the CZ drop.
The necklace cord is 49 inches long including the metal and pearl
This piece was created exclusively
for the Heart of Texas 2020 workshop.