The Hopi and Their Jewelry

Hopi Silver Overlay Jewelry

The jewelry of the Hopi has a style distinct from that of the other Native Americans. The Hopi are known for the use of silver overlay, which utilizes a technique of fusing two layers of silver. The eye-catching and often elaborate design is on the top layer, while the bottom layers serves as a base.

It was not so long ago that the Hopi developed this technique. In fact the Hopi were not much into the making of silver. In their relative isolation on the northeastern Arizona high plains, or mesas, they were somewhat firewalled (so to speak) against external influences. Even their interaction with other Native Americans was limited.

Silversmithing of Native Americans

So while the Navajo learned and developed their silversmithing skills, a technique brought to the south-west of the American continent by the Spaniards, and which was then taken up by the Zuni, the Hopi were still practicing their own artistic heritage based on weaving and pottery. They were also adept at the making of kachina dolls, for which they deservedly remain renowned.

Time, of course, would not stand still, and even reliably isolated communities began to open up. Trading and commerce grew and the Hopi through their interaction with the Zuni exposed them to the craft of silver jewelry, at which the Zuni were now skilled. Lanyade, a Zuni, learned his silversmithing from the Navajo, and began to sell his silver jewelry. He travelled among the Hopi and Sikyatala became his student in 1898.

Sikyatala

Sikyatala is credited to be the first Hopi silversmith. It is reported that while Lanyade was at the Hopi reservation for four months, making and selling his silver jewelry pieces, Sikyatala was studiously observing and learning from the master at close range.

Sikyatala then began to use the technique of making silver jewelry. Other Hopi also began to follow and emulate the work of Sikyatala. In time the Hopi developed their own style, that of using overlay silver.

Hopi Silversmiths Paul Saufie and Fred Kabote

This technique did not so much evolve as was created by the Hopi silversmiths Paul Saufkie and Fred Kabote who were involved in a program at the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1938. After World War II the Hopi Guild was formed to encourage a program of silversmith training .

The designs of the silver overlay jewelry of the Hopi were also unique in that they adapted designs from the old broken pottery pieces of the 15th and 16th centuries. New motifs were also incorporated by the Hopi Guild, including kachina symbols.

The cross-currents in Native American jewelry nowdays mean that there are cross-influences as well. And different styles from the different currents may well find themselves evident in any piece of modern American Native jewelry.

But the fascinating development of Native American silversmiths and their crafts, in their different streams of artistic design, does not entirely obscure the original creativity. The silver overlay technique was the creation of the Hopi, even if it may now be employed by others.

Michael Kabotie

In ending, it may be noted that the work of Fred Kabote was continued by his son Michael Kabote (also spelled 'Kabotie'). Michael Kabotie recently passed away at the age of 67. He was a trail-blazer in the Native American fine arts movement, both as a Hopi artist and jeweler. His paintings were well-received, depicting traditional Hopi life. For a number of years, he also tapped the Hopi overlay technique at the Idyllwild Arts program in Southern California.

The New Wedding Chic – Wedding Favor Designer Trios

Times are changing. Bridal gowns are more colorful, bridesmaid’s dresses don’t have to match, destination weddings are in vogue and wedding favor trios are bursting on the scene. But what exactly is a wedding favor designer trio?

So many weddings are themed: beach weddings, black tie, fairy tale, heart themes, and the list continues forever. Everything in that wedding points to who the bride and groom are and what they love. So many times while consulting on a wedding, the bride would turn to me and say, “But why do I have to do it that way?” I never had an answer for her, because most of what we do at weddings follows tradition. Then who’s to say that tradition can’t be changed.

This exact situation happened just recently. The couple’s theme was “love.” From the ceremony to the honeymoon, they planned it around this word and showed it in every area of the day. Then we came to the final decision; what wedding favors were they going to choose, considering there are so many with their specific theme. That’s when she turned and asked me that question which has changed the way we look at wedding favors.

We went through every favor we had: love coasters, love bottle stoppers, love candles and the list seemed to continue forever. She liked too many of them. Suddenly, I had an idea. Why not mix and match the wedding favor to coordinate with the love theme of the wedding? She was so excited she could hardly contain it. She turned to me and said, “I can do that?”

So happily we chose a trio of wedding favors that coordinated perfectly with each other and with the couple’s theme. That day, for us, the wedding favor designer trio was born. And since that day, wedding after wedding – even the ones I had no part in – have trios of favors gracing the tables of the guests.

I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep repeating myself; it’s your wedding. You have to be happy with your day. Hopefully it will be the only one you’ll ever have. So break the rules. In this case, overturning that wedding favor tradition is now the chic thing to do!

Increase Your Conversion Rates With Product Photography

High-quality product photography is an essential tool for driving sales to your eCommerce store. It compensates for customers’ inability to touch and feel the items that you’re selling.

In bricks-and-mortar shops, people would usually try the products on display racks before deciding whether or not to buy them.

When it comes to online shopping, they weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a product based on what they see, not feel.

Unfortunately, sometimes the actual look of a product is different from its picture on a website. When a customer experiences this, they end up disappointed and returning the item.

To avoid returns and increase your conversion rate, create visually-appealing product images that are almost tangible.

5 ways to create quality product photos

Proper lighting can be the big difference between a spectacular product image and one that is, well, second-rate.

Anyone can take pictures using a mobile phone or an instant camera, unmindful of the unsightly elements like shadows, but product photography should always produce shadowless photos.

Ample lighting captures not only the shape of an object but also its actual colour and texture.

Now, remember we mentioned the “touch-and-feel” aspect of shopping and how it matters to a shopper? Taking close-ups breaks the invisible barrier between your product and customers. A close-up allows them to scrutinise your product down to its tiniest detail.

Still on the subject of touching and feeling a product, shoot from as many angles as you can to give customers a three-dimensional view of what you’re selling. That way, they can experience the item as if they’ve walked into your shop and touched it.

Also, you’ll want to add a responsive video, which shows how the product works, alongside your multi-angled photos. Not only will it give your customers a clearer picture of your product, but it will also boost traffic on your website. Besides, who doesn’t love videos?

Most important of all, you have to keep it real because a potential customer will want to see how your product can be used day-to-day. Instead of over-editing a picture in Photoshop until it looks extremely fake, apply it to a real-life situation.

If you’re selling a ball gown, for example, how would you present photos of it to a woman with a nine-to-five job? She’s unlikely to buy it if she only sees a tight shot of the dress, but if you show her when and where to wear it, then you have her attention.

More than increasing traffic on your eCommerce website, these tried-and-tested photography techniques will surely lead to a higher conversion rate.

How do you come up with beautiful product images for your site?

Comparison Between Egyptian and Mesopotamian Religions and Beliefs!

The religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians were the dominating influence in the development of their culture. The Egyptian faith was based on a collection of ancient myths, nature worship, and innumerable deities. Sumerian lives were spent serving the gods in the form of man-made statues. There was no organized set of gods; each city-state had its own patrons, temples, and priest-kings. The Sumerians were probably the first to write down their beliefs, which were the inspiration for much of later Mesopotamian mythology, religion, and astrology. Sumerians believed that the universe consisted of a flat disk enclosed by a tin dome. While the Mesopotamian’s didn’t have anything quit to scale with the pyramids, they did use and build ziggurats for religious purposes.

Both civilizations were centered on religion. Egypt believed in many gods. The gods Mesopotamia believed in tended to be absolute rulers to whom the people owed total devotion. In both civilizations religious leaders were given very high status and held in high regard. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt are two religions that believed in monotheism. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia were polytheistic, that is, they believed their worlds were ruled by more than one god. Both civilizations believed that the gods created them. Both cultures also believed that they themselves were created for the purpose of serving their gods. Both worshipers took their names from the numerous gods and the cults that honored the deities, and priests in both religions were no special clothes, and made daily offering in the temples and held annual festivals open to public.

Mesopotamian religion saw humans as the servants of the gods, who had to be appeased for protection. Egyptians believed that the gods created all humans but were also controlled by the principle of maat, or order. Unlike followers of Mesopotamian religion, the Egyptians had a strong belief in the afterlife, which they expressed by building elaborate tombs such as the pyramids. The Sumerian afterlife involved a descent into a gloomy netherworld to spend eternity in a wretched existence as a Gidim (ghost). Egyptians believed that their gods had created Egypt as a sort of refuge of good and order in a world filled with chaos and disorder. The major god for much of Mesopotamia was the sky god Enlil; later th e worship of Enlil was replaced by the worship of the Babylonian god Marduk. For Egyptians, Amen-Ra was the most powerful deity, chief of the pantheon. Statues of winged bulls were a protective symbol related to the god Sin Mesopotamia, while the ankh, a kind of cross with a loop at the top, was a prominent representation of life in ancient Egypt. The Enuma Elish tells the Mesopotamian story of creation and explains how Marduk became the chief of the gods. The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a guide for the dead, setting out magic spells and charms to be used to pass judgment in the afterlife. Ancient Nippur was the site of the chief temple to Enlil, while Babylon was the location of Marduk’s sanctuary. Thebes and the temple complex of Karnak were home to the worship of Amen- Ra. In the modern world the remains of these early religions can be seen in Egypt’s pyramids, tombs for the pharaohs, and in Mesopotamia’s ziggurats, temples to the gods. The New Year’s Festival was a major event in Mesopotamian religion, while Egypt’s most important festival was Opet. Because Egypt was the “gift of the Nile” and generally prosperous and harmonious, Egyptian gods tended to reflect a positive religion with an emphasis on a positive afterlife. In contrast, Mesopotamian religion was bleak and gloomy. Ancient Mesopotamian prayers demonstrate the lack of relationships with gods and goddesses who viewed humans with suspicion and frequently sent calamities to remind everyone of their humanity. Such was the message found in the Gilgamesh Epic.

Although the religions of both civilizations shared many similarities, the differences were vast. The most notable ones are the importance and belief of afterlife and the relationship between Gods. Because of these differences, we believe, the civilizations were different because in early times, civilizations revolved around their beliefs and values but unfortunately, there was an end to these great civilizations.