In celebration of Cinco de Mayo this Saturday, here’s some fun information about the influences in Mexican jewelry. Of course there are a lot of Spanish influences from when explorers came over seeking gold, but the Native Mexican heritage lives on in a blend of jewelry with both Indian and European cultures. Before the Spanish influence, the pre-Columbian jewelry differed from tribe to tribe. The ancient Aztecs wore a lot of finely-carved jade as well as bright colors and feathers. Archeologists discovered that the Mixtec tribe decorated themselves with gold pendants, turquoise, and animal motifs. One of the most famous indigenous Mexican groups was the Mayans, who also wore pendants and bracelets made out of jade. Another popular look for the Mayan people was ear plugs, which resemble ear gauges today.
When Spanish explorers came over searching for the abundance of gold that once existed in Mexico, the Spanish artisans taught gold and silver work to the Native Mexicans. Silver became more and more popular in the cultures, and is still a popular choice in jewelry there today. This resulted in jewelry with combinations of bold, dramatic Spanish influence and colorful Native decorations. You can see a lot of silver and turquoise jewelry in Mexico, which has traveled north to be popular looks in the American Southwest. Heavy silver pieces with green and black stones decorated with silver domes or balls are great examples of this historic blend of cultures.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, mostly celebrated in America. This date (which is an exact translation of “the 5th of May”) marks Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. A festivity can consist of parades, mariachi music and other celebrations of Mexican influence. Contrary to what some may think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. This is celebrated in September.
Make sure you celebrate this year in style with personalized designs like jewelry and craft ideas. Gather your favorite green, white and red pieces to put together your own special project!
Information and Photo Source: travels.com.