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Zuni Bear Fetish Earrings, Orange Copal Turquoise Handmade Jewelry

Item Description

Symbolic as the guardian and master of the West, bears are extremely revered by the Zuni, Navajo and many other Native American peoples and are often carved as protective fetishes.  The one of a kind, Zuni-inspired MEDICINE BEAR earrings were created with eye-catching artisan enameled bear charms and also features artisan made Tibetan orange copal beads and turquoise heishe.  Individually artisan made, each Southwest bear was created from a copper base that was enameled with glass powders in orange and turquoise, orange on top and turquoise on the bottom. As an added adornment, an Italian murrine glass cane was used to create a petaled flower in the center of each bear, one has yellow petals and one has blue petals.  A hand painted black heartline runs from the bear’s head to the back and other symbols such as spirals, dots and lines were also added.  The backside of the bear charms are finished with a heathered dark blue enamel.  To fuse everything together and for a very high gloss finish, the dangles were heated in a kiln at approximately 1475 degrees F.  Since the bears were individually made, they are very similar but also are different, as you can see in the photos.  ***Please note:  Even though the enamel bear charms are very durable, they are glass fused to copper.  If an earring is dropped on a hard surface, the glass can crack or chip.
To perfectly complement the colors of the fetish bears, artisan Tibetan copal beads and turquoise heishe are stacked above each bear.  Bought Fair Trade, the unique Tibetan beads were individually handmade in Nepal by Tibetan artists who have fled their country.  Created in the traditional manner, the beads were made from amber copal, a natural tree sap that hardens like amber and that has been used for centuries to create jewelry.  The rich orange amber colored beads are inlaid around the middle with bumpy brass wire.  Since the Tibetan beads are individually made, each bead varies somewhat from the other, as you can see in the photos.  A single piece of genuine sky blue turquoise rests on top separated by a copper disc spacer.  Sterling silver French hook earwires with copper bead accents finish the wonderful bear earrings.  Carefully designed and handmade by Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs, the MEDICINE BEAR earrings are a perfect jewelry gift for the woman who loves Native American symbolism and one of a kind artisan designed earrings with a bear motif.

  • Enamel Zuni-inspired bear charms:  app. 25 mm x 15 mm x 1.5 mm (1.0” x 0.6”); artisan handmade by Linda Younkman
  • Fair Trade Tibetan copal beads:  app. 8 mm (0.3”); artisan made in Nepal
  • Real turquoise heishe:  app. 5 mm x 4 mm (0.2” x 0.16”)
  • Metal:  copper, brass (copal bead) and sterling silver
  • Earwires:  sterling silver French hooks with copper bead accents
  • Length:  app. 2” / 5.1 cm measured from the top curve of the sterling earwires

*** For a better understanding of the relative size of the MEDICINE BEAR earrings, please be sure to check out photo # 6 for a size comparison with a dime.

Bears are believed to be spiritual guides and represent strength, courage, adaptability, healing  and self-knowledge.  Copal is associated with the fulfillment of dreams and goals, and ideals; it is said to help balance the yin and yang creating calmness.  Turquoise is a stone of wholeness, promoting a sense of unity with all that surrounds us; it is believed to bring peace of mind, a soothing energy and healing of the spirit.  Copper is said to allow the wearer to recognize barriers in the path of personal development.  Silver is a metal of love and healing; it is a mirror to the soul, helping us to see ourselves as others see us. 

The one of a kind MEDICINE BEAR handmade earrings were carefully designed and handmade in a dog friendly, smoke free studio. They will be carefully packed in an organza jewelry bag with tissue, perfect for gift giving to a loved one . . . or to yourself!
***  The beautiful jewelry in my shop is photographed outside in natural light.  Please be aware that not all computer monitors show colors exactly the same. The colors of the components used to create each piece of jewelry are extremely close to the actual color on my own monitor. They may appear lighter or darker on yours.


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