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North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present [Hardcover]

Lois Sherr Dubin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 1999
Over 1,200 illustrations, approximately 820 in full color, offer a look at Southwestern turquoise jewelry, Plains beadwork, "carved" metal bracelets from the Northwest, quill and moosehair work from the Subarctic, and etched horn jewelry from California. 50 maps.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Don't waste time reading this review; order this book now for whatever kind of library you may have. This big, beautiful, knock-your-socks-off title covers not only Native American adornment but also its history, the uses of materials, the spiritual meaning, the archaeology and oral traditions, and the artists. As treated here, adornment means not just jewelry but robes and headdresses, horse decoration, masks, and more. Modern work holds its own with the ancient in dazzling photographs, and occasional fold-out pages show staggering displays on themes such as beadwork as seen in Northwest Coast bracelets. Dubin (The History of Beads) follows themes as they develop, such as pictographic details used throughout the history of a tribe. There has not been such a broad and informative book before, and this will likely become the standard reference. Recommended for all libraries.AGay Neale, Southside Virginia Community Coll. Lib., Alberta and Keysville
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"...a colorful heavyweight, packed with information and images...The author's passion for her subject underlies the scholarly detail of her text..." -- Associated Press

"...beautifully written, generously illustrated and carefully researched...A personal and intelligent compilation of stories and information...a vital resource." -- American Craft

"Destined to become a classic." -- Southwest Museum

"Don Imus' Pick of the Week." -- Don Imus

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important and enjoyable book May 20 1999
Lois Sherr Dubin says in the introductory chapter of her beautifully written, generously illustrated and carefully researched book that Indian concepts of connectedness merged neatly with her education in landscape architecture and ecology. She cites examples of appropriate use of material as indications of links to a belief system. How we regard materials can reveal how we think. In a telephone interview with me she said, "It is that profound respect for their materials as they use them that drew me initially to the subject of Indian adornment and the people who make it."
The book demonstrates not only her understanding of fundamental concepts of Native North American thought that have led to the production and use of an astounding array of objects loosely grouped under the title of jewelry and adornment, but shows as well her deep regard for the subject and its makers. She writes, "In my New York apartment I touch a beaded Lakota pouch and reflect on the colors, textures, and sounds of a northern Plains powwow. Native American adornment, layered with artistry and content, stimulates thought. How, I wonder, have the Indian people not only survived near annihilation but also continued to produce such a concentration of superb artisans ...." Throughout the book the reader will meet many of those artisans and hear their words as they share with the author their knowledge of the present and past.
Along with her refreshing writing and brilliant illustrations showing connectedness between past and present, Dubin traces congruences of thought among cultures and communities. Prominent are the similarities among Native American cultures regarding the recent florescence of artistic expression attributed to a resurgence of cultural identity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb, magnificent July 1 2003
By E Rice
this book could easily inspire a life of crime--how else to afford the gorgeous contemporary jewelry? or acquire the museum quality antique and archeological collections?
as a knitter, embroiderer and beader, i am always looking for inspiration for my pieces. i may stoop to outright plagarism when it comes to the works in this incredible book. though i will say that i can only dream of having the level of skill the pieces display. the craftmanship, the artistry, are humbling when one considers the tools the artists had--and the reservation conditions under which too much of the art was created.
the text is wonderfully informative, if you can force yourself to read it, instead of allowing yourself to be mesmerized by the photos.
follow the advice of the professional review--buy this book immediately.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book! Sept. 9 1999
This is by far the very best book I have ever seen on the subject! It will no doubt take days to just look at the beautiful pictures. The author, Lois Sherr Dubin, has outdone her previous book, "The History Of Beads", which I also highly recommend. This book follows thousands of years of Native adornment, dividing the continent into sections such as the Arctic, the Plains, the Southwest, and more, and goes into the jewelry, symbolism, and purpose of these exquisite artworks in great detail. I had never seen most of the photographs in this book before, and the text is most informative as well. I simply cannot say enough good things about this book, and I'd give it ten stars if I could! The author has obviously put much thought, time, and careful research into this wonderful book!
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