Encyclopedia Article


Often seen with the Anglicized spelling of "concho," a concha is a traditional Native American jewelry design that resembles a concha, which means "shell" in Spanish. Conchas are about the size of large shells, and can be flat or domed plaques, usually made of silver. They are used primarily to decorate leather belts, although can be seen in necklaces, bracelets, or pins. The Navajo in particular, using highly detailed silversmithing skills, have created intricate designs for belt conchos that were often studded with turquoise stones.

Photo Credit: 

"Portrait photograph of Bai-De-Schluch-A-Ichin or Be-Ich-Schluck-Ich-In-Et-Tzuzzigi "Metal Beater" (Slender Silversmith) with Silver Necklaces, Concho Belts, Tools and Army Saddle Bag, 1883" by G.B. Wittick is licensed under Public Domain.

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