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Navajo Concho Belt


This leather and silver concho belt by Navajo artist Geraldine Yazzie features nine large conchos of different shapes, all tooled by hand out of pure silver and mounted on a leather backing. Each of the conchos is attached to the belt by way of a copper strap, which allows them to be adjusted on (or even removed from) the belt, while also securing them. The belt features a magnificent example of Navajo craftsmanship in the buckle, which measures approximately 3¾ × 3 inches (9.5 × 7.6 cm). The overall length of the belt is 56 inches or 142.2 cm. (including the buckle).

On a tour of New Mexico in the winter of 1929-1930, Dr. Barnes acquired a large number of turquoise and silver jewelry pieces, and Navajo belts. As with all of his purchases, he chose pieces according to the principles of light, line, color, and form. Most of the pieces he bought are Navajo, Zuni, or Apache. On this same trip, Dr. Barnes also purchased rugs, santos, pottery, and Navajo blankets. The Navajo belts Dr. Barnes collected can be seen in Room 15, and on the mezzanine.