Squash Blossom may be official necklace

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By Associated Press

SANTA FE — From Las Cruces to Gallup to Santa Fe to Taos, New Mexico has been touched by Native American art and culture.
Gallup Senator George Munoz (D-Cibola, McKinley) introduced legislation that will recognize the impact of this artistry by proposing to make the Squash Blossom Necklace New Mexico’s Official Necklace.
Sen. Munoz said 78 percent of the people who live in his district are Native American, and the designation recognizes their efforts and accomplishments. New Mexican artistry has created jobs and contributed to the tax base in New Mexico, and is a $40 million industry to the city of Gallup alone, according to Sen. Munoz.
Senate Bill 109 was introduced by Sen. Munoz to recognize the Squash Blossom Necklace as an important part of New Mexico’s identity and economy.
The turquoise and silver Squash Blossom Necklaces are thought to date back to the 1880’s and were first made by Navajo and later Zuni and Hopi Indians.
The skills and artistry used to create the necklaces have been passed down in Native American families from generation to generation.
The Squash Blossom Necklace is considered by many to be the premier example of Navajo jewelry.
The bill was voted on and passed by the Senate Public Affairs Committee Feb. 1, and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee.