In its classic union of gleaming silver and blue turquoise, Native
American jewellery of the Southwest is an iconic art form.
Internationally recognized and locally significant, Native American
jewellery has a compelling history--it represents the persistence
of tradition while encapsulating the vitality of Native American
communities and the continuously transforming nature of the
jewellery makers' art. Author Henrietta Lidchi focuses on jewellery
in the cultural economy of the Southwest, exploring jewellery
making as a decorative art form in constant transition. She
describes the jewellery as subject to a number of desires,
controlled at different times by government agencies, individual
entrepreneurs, traders, curators, and Native American communities.
Lidchi explores the jewellery as craft, material culture,
commodity, and adornment. Considering the impact of tourism, she
discusses fakes in the market and the artists' desires to codify
traditional styles, explaining how these factors can affect
stylistic development and value. Surviving Desires suggests the
complexity and reinvention innate to Native American jewellery as a
commercial craft. Drawing on the author's archival research and on
interviews she conducted with Native American jewellers and with
traders, dealers, and curators, this volume examines British
collecting, exchanges between British and American institutions,
and the development of the British Museum's contemporary
collection. Lavishly illustrated with 300 color photographs of
jewellery in the British Museum, the National Museums Scotland, and
major collections in the United States, Surviving Desires presents
many previously unpublished pieces and showcases works by Native
American jewellers who include the best-known names in the field
today. The volume is a visually stunning exploration of the
symbolic, economic, and communal value of jewellery in the American
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