Southwest Crossroads Spotlight
“Zuni Bracelet,” Edith (Tsabetsaye) Martza (Author)
The Zuni traded for turquoise stones for hundreds of years. They traded with the Santo Domingo and Cochiti Indians who had access to the turquoise mines. Later on the Spanish seized control of the mines. In the late 1800s Anglo mining interests took control of the mines. They began shipping and selling the stones in greater quantities. Deprived of the larger pieces, the Zunis began using smaller stones. As a result, their turquoise work became more delicate and varied. Turquoise jewelry, still highly prized among the Zuni, is a major source of revenue today.