Hopi Cube


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Unknown Unknown 1100.2021.3702.jpg Days Past Collection Color 1100.2021.3702 1100.2021.3702 Print 16x20+ Historic Photographs 20210910 Reproduction rights are not available. Owned by another institution.

Description

Photo of "The Cube," a Hopi silver paperweight with overlay, created by artist Norbert Peshlakai.

Traditionally, the Hopi crafted necklaces, bracelets and other personal adornments from shell, stone and plant materials. Silver - scarce and expensive - was a late arrival on the Hopi mesas. However, during the 1890s, a few Hopi artisans were taught to work with silver by their Navajo and Zuni neighbors. Early pieces were indistinguishable from Navajo or Zuni work. Today, Hopi silversmithing is a highly-regarded Southwest art.

Around 1949 Hopi artists developed a technique called overlay, in which involves cutting a base layer from a sheet of silver, and then cutting an intricate design into a separate sheet of silver, which is highly polished and soldered on top of the base layer. The artist might work some texture into the visible part of the base layer or oxidize it to darken it. The result is a striking design with a three-dimensional look.

Photo Courtesy of Norbert Peshlakai.

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