Vintage Turquoise Silver Whirling Log Cuff Bracelet by Artist Jerry Faires, Southwest Jewelry


This vintage bracelet was made by Santa Fe jeweler, musician and poet Jerry Faires (1940- ). The bracelet takes us back to pre-1940s Fred Harvey Era jewelry, and while it was made using old methods, it is from the 1980s. The shank is a cast band with repousse and hand stamping, and at the top adjacent to the simple rectangle stone are two whirling logs, also stamped. One of the benefits of a Fred Harvey style piece is that the bracelet is not made with thin silver sheets used for the tourist market in the day; this bracelet has good weight. From a website that represents the artist: "Jerry Faires (1940- ) grew up listening to the radio bringing the sounds of the '40's and '50's into his hometown of Edinburg, Texas, just 13 miles from the Mexican border. The Rancheras and Norteno conjunto music mixed in the air with Texas swing and honky tonk bands like Bob Wills and Adolf Hofner and the Pearl Wranglers. Late night radio added country, gospel, bluegrass, as well as R&B and black artists like Bobby "Blue" Bland, Moms Mabley, and T-Bone Walker. Faires has been a singer all his life. 'Since before a little kid, I sang for nickels and kisses. Still am,' Faires says with a smile." A renaissance man, he also learned to make jewelry the old-fashioned way, and was interested in the old symbols used in Navajo jewelry-making. That symbol is known in Navajo culture as "Whirling Log," and in Sanskrit culture it is "swastika." From a University of Utah website about the swastika symbol: "You may come to find the swastika symbol on a Native American artifact. No need to be alarmed, as the word 'swastika' in Sanskrit means 'well being'. Actually, the swastika is a motif found on textiles from all over the world! From Armenia to Iran, to the South Ural Mountains, in Ancient Rome, and certain African groups in Ghana. From the Byzantine Era, Bronze Age, and Iron Age; to Celtic and Slavic cultures, and in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and MUCH MORE! The swastika is notably associated with Ganesha--which marks his palm--a Hindu deity that overcomes obstacles and opens the way to good fortune. And Tibetans may use the swastika in many variations, such as on doors of their homes as protection against evil. In Navajo, the swastika represents the Whirling Log, vehicle of Culture Hero. The hero sets out on a long journey down the San Juan River, in which he hollows out a log to help him in his attempt. During the journey, the hero encounters many misadventures but gains important celestial knowledge. When he reaches his destination, the gods take his log out of a whirlpool where the rivers meet and help him to shore. Whirling logs are also used in Navajo sand paintings during a healing or other type of ceremony. Since WWII, the use of Whirling Logs in Native American artifacts has been confined mainly to rugs. Jewelry with the symbol is usually seen before 1940."

The cuff is about 5/8" wide. Measuring end to end with a soft tape measure on the inside, it is just under 5-7/8" long with a just under 1-1/8" gap, for a total interior length of just under 7". Weighs 51g.

A great piece of the Old Santa Fe jewelry scene.


Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.


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