Santo Domingo Antique Bead Drill


American Indian Artist

Antique Lapidary drill for hand working turquoise beads.  The Santo Domingo people of New Mexico have been making beads of turquoise or shell traded from thousands of miles away using this type of tool.  They are known as the best bead-makers of the Southwest.

The wooden handle shows signs of use and has blackened with age and oils from the skilled jeweler's hands.  A heavy round stone adds centrifugal weight to the drilling action and beauty to the piece.

There isn't a drilling bit here but a sharp sliver of steel where some cotton now is would round out the tool.

Ruby keeps this in her bedroom.  I has the shape of a bow that reminds her of cupid's own.  She knows the great things such a tool can create and feels the power when she wears her strands of Santo Domingo heishi turquoise beads.


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