From the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Bowguard, pre-1932, Artist Unknown, Navajo

Courtesy of John and Linda Comstock and the Abigail Van Vleck Charitable Trust, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology, 10061/12

Photography by Addison Doty

Navajo silverwork, with its characteristically bold design, is largely seen as emblematic of Native art in the Southwest. This bowguard was purchased for $5.00 by H. P. Mera, then-Director of the Laboratory of Anthropology, on a buying trip to the Navajo Nation in 1932. Cast silver with an open pattern of two opposing figures, the piece is centered with an oval turquoise stone. Four United States dimes, dated 1900, 1905, 1906, and 1917, anchor the sides.

Credit: Addison Doty

Note: Representative image at left is often cropped for display purposes. Downloaded high-resolution images are not cropped.