Native American Wedding Rings

Native American tribes originally did not use traditional wedding rings as part of their ceremonies since they didn't smelt gold. However, they did make jewelry using various natural stones, sand casting, tooled sheets, and in the 1800s, Spanish traders introduced the skill of silversmithing.

Symbolism can be seen throughout the various Native American cultures. Since most of the earth, elements, and animals were sacred to them, many were deified and used in totem poles, paintings and home décor, and crafted into their jewelry.

The Navajo history of jewelry reveals their use of stones and archaeological digs have unearthed turquoise beads which were drilled through, confirming their skills in the craft. It is evident that the Navajo passed these skills down through the generations as well as across the country to other tribes.

The Indian Arts & Crafts Association (IACA) is non-profit entity which promotes authenticity in Native American jewelry and offers a Buyer's Guide which lists those who produce and sell authentic Native American jewelry, including wedding rings.

Native American weddings often included use of the Rite of Seven Steps, which included vows and the exchange of gifts of symbolism.

Today, Native Americans have ancient traditional, modern, or a mixture of both in their wedding ceremonies.

There are many sites on the internet which offer help with planning and list the traditional and modern styles of each tribe by area within the United States. The use of rings in these ceremonies has adapted to symbolize the "unity" of the husband and wife, as in early European customs brought to this country centuries ago.

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