The Squash Blossom Necklace

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Top – Chaus New York  – Similar
Sweater – 89th & MadisonSimilar
Jeans – Levi, Denizen – Bootcut
Heels – Kelly & Katie, Louisa
Necklace – Inherited – Similar

It may be a bit of a bummer story to tell, especially contained within an outfit post, but I don’t think I could otherwise relay why I am so thrilled to be wearing that particular necklace.  So, I will at least try and keep it brief.

Back in 1988, when I was a junior in high school, my mom had a brain aneurysm.  She lived through the event, but in many ways that was when I really lost her as my mom.  She lived for another 7 years.  It had been an incredibly difficult situation for everyone and when a short time later my dad told me that he was going to get remarried, I was thrilled for him.  They decided to remodel the house instead of moving.  Obviously during this time, they decided to remove all of my mom’s items from the house.  Unfortunately my dad was the type of person who thought that nobody would want any of her things and most things were donated or thrown away.  I was only able to rescue a few precious items.  Okay…. now fast forward to last year and after being married for 20 years to his second wife, she divorced him, and he passed away 6 months later.

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It was then, while searching his belongings at his vacant house when I found the small box containing a few items of my moms that he had kept hidden away.  The necklace in these photos?  Yup, that was something that I thought was lost back in 1995.  To be able to wear my mom’s squash blossom necklace, really means something.  I was never interested in being able to inherit financial gains from my parents, but to be able to receive a few sentimental items, those are the things that are truly priceless.

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A few further thoughts regarding this necklace.  It is unfortunately unsigned, otherwise, I would gladly give credit to the artist who created it.  As best as my sister and I can determine, it was purchased in the 70s from a Navajo artist living on the reservation in the four corners region of the southwest US.  In completing some research on squash blossom necklaces with the Naja symbol, while held in high regard, it is generally seen as a decorative piece serving no religious purposes.  If produced from a Navajo artist, Navajo readily encourage non-natives to purchase, and proudly wear this type of jewelry.

And as another side note, with having been adopted, at 3 weeks of age, and having no knowledge of my own personal culture, other than surmising what my skin tone and facial features may suggest, it is a bit odd trying to determine what exactly is acceptable for me to wear.  A human without a recognized gender and no culture to call their own…………………………..hmmmmm.

For further reading may I suggest:

http://www.collectorsguide.com/fa/fa040.shtml

http://www.rivertradingpost.com/squashblossom.htm

http://www.xojane.com/fashion/electric-teepees-and-neon-dreamcatchers-how-to-shop-for-native-american-fashion-ethically-and-blissfully

http://jezebel.com/5959698/a-much-needed-primer-on-cultural-appropriation

 

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for unordinarystyle.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.
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Hi, I’m Nadine Spirit and I have been a lifelong gender non-conformer. I have always understood that I am a bit different than most but it was not until sometime in my thirties that I came to understand that I am transgender. While I spend most of my time presenting as a male I am always presenting in a gender non-conforming manner. 

I started my blog, Unordinary Style, with the idea of being able to show a stylish side to those who identify as transgender. Since that time my blog has evolved into showing my personal style, discussing a wide variety of transgender topics, as well as posts about my personal life. My personal style continues to evolve as I attempt to continually push myself to pick stuff off of the racks, take it into the dressing room, and try on as much as I can. I am a firm believer in ignoring tag sizes, never paying retail prices, and due to a terrific allergy – that nickel should never be in any jewelry!

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3 Responses to “The Squash Blossom Necklace”

  1. JR

    Nadine, I’m so glad you have something that helps you remember your mother! My sisters and I were able to go through my Mom’s things after she died and pick out some sentimental items.

  2. fashionforgiants

    I’m so happy you were able to find and wear your mother’s necklace; I think that’s absolutely wonderful.

    I have a vintage turquoise squash blossom necklace and they’re so fabulous, aren’t they? Love how you styled yours!

    xoxo,

    Gracey

  3. Sonja

    That´s a great outfit, a beautiful necklace and a touching story.
    Sonja