Native American Chokers

Published on January 2, 2012 by Amy

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Native American Chokers
Native American Chokers

The Native American Indians were commonly seen wearing many different kinds of Native jewelry and a style that is still seen today are the Native American chokers. Native American chokers are usually made from bone and glass beads and many are still made in the traditional Native American way with leather to tie it together. These pieces of jewelry received this name because they are made to fit tightly to your neck, not so tight that they really choke you, but so they are comfortable around your neck and there is no extra slack.

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Most of the time these Indian chokers are quite wide, with three or four bands of beads, so they cover about half of the neck of a person who wears one of the chokers. One of the most popular beads to make Native American chokers from are called pony beads. Pony beads are around a half inch diameter bead with holes in each end, and many were made from brass before and later on they started being made from bone or glass and they came in a few different colors, mainly black, red, and turquoise. Sometimes they would have things like abalone shells or silver medallions adorning the front of the choker in the center.

Native American chokers were originally designed for the purpose of protecting the necks of the Native American Indian warriors during battle and they were also used to adorn themselves during specific tribal ceremonies. The Native American chokers were also worn to show a high social ranking among the tribes, and as a sign of wealth.

Sometimes these chokers would also be attached to a full breastplate for the tribal warriors who fought to protect their territories and for some of the more violent Indian tribes would start wars to conquer new territory. In society today choker necklaces are extremely popular among younger generations, and even though most are not handmade by true Native Americans, they are mass produced and fashioned like the traditional chokers. It is still possible to find Indian chokers that are made by hand and are one of a kind since many Native American traditionalists try and preserve as much of their past as possible.

Source: native-net Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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