Published on April 2, 2014 by Amy
Since the beginning of time, Native Americans have worn jewelry carved from bone and horn. Carved bone and horn was actually likely the first adornment people used to fashion jewelry. The bone choker was invented by Native Americans after it become obvious that longer bone, shell and horn necklaces caused problems when hunting and chasing food. So necklaces were shortened and the choker was invented. Since the choker wraps around the neck, it would not cause so many problems when hunting. Bone chokers were first made from bird legs and they served a very useful function. They provided physical protection of the neck and the jugular vein during battle and fighting. Bone chokers are also believed to provide spiritual protection of the voice. By wearing a bone choker, the spirits of the animal they come from can provide protection from all kinds of sicknesses.
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It is also believed that the spirit will also provide you great speaking ability when wearing a properly made bone choker and cause one to speak from the heart. During tribal meetings, almost all present who would speak would wear a Bone Choker believing that the choker would give them the power to speak from the heart about what needed to be said. It might be said that the saying, “he speaks with forked tongue,” was made by one who either did not wear a bone choker or the bone choker worn was not made in the right manner, by the right experts or contain the proper spiritual power to provide the speaker the ability to speak from the heart.
Specific specialists in each tribe generally made various types of bone chokers. Many Native Americans had dreams about a certain type of bone choker and then have their tribe’s specialist make it for them. Most of the bone choker makers were helpers to the great medicine men and other times, they were the medicine men themselves. Rarely would a Native American make his or her own bone choker as it required the specialist so the bone choker would have the great spiritual power.
The Sinew used to string bone chokers were usually from Deer or Buffalo. The sinew strips from these main sources were generally not only longer than other animals, there was an abundance of them. At one time, there were more buffalo roaming around America than there were people. Before metal and needles were invented, Native Americans used a sharp piece of filed down bone as hole punchers for the hide spacers often found between the bone beads.
Originally, Bone Chokers were one or two strands. There is some evidence that chiefs, warriors or other persons in special leadership positions such as medicine men could extend the number of strands. Eventually, many-stranded bone chokers became a status symbol along with the other semiprecious materials such as Turquoise stones, shell, feathers and other types of beads used to embellish them. Carved designs and even sterling sliver with gold trim on the embellishments have become common place. Today there are a wide variety of them. Some of them have become very fancy and made with a number of different materials including some bone chokers that do not even have very little if any bone in them. Many Bone Chokers today can be obtained with matching bracelets and earrings. They are often worn today by both men and women.
The Number Of Strands On A Bone Choker And Their Meaning
In almost everything worn, there is a meaning behind it and this applies to the number of strands on a Bone Choker. Here is what various strands mean.
1) One God
4) Earthly Situations/Seasons/The Four Directions.
5) God On Top
6) Human Accomplishment
7) Spiritual Perfection
8) New Beginning
All the way down to the present time, Native Americans have worn these and they have become very popular in modern times. As you can see from the photo samples above of Native Americans, they tend to still wear the Bone Choker and wear it even when the only thing else they might have on is a breechcloth as they wish to maintain the spiritual power that comes with them.
Hairpipe bone is a long bead carved from bone and strung into a necklace or choker with leather, beads and other embellishments in between the hairpipe bone. Original hairpipe bone, just like many hairpipe bone beads of today, are easy to carve into these beads because the bone marrow is soft on many small bones, so they become easy to carve out and string. Below is a review of an extensive selection of bone and horn chokers which have become very popular for both guys and gals and are very collectable and affordable.