Is there an I. yazzie?

I will post pics soon. I have a petite point three panel necklace and screwback earrings set my mom gave me and on the back of one panel is a Scribed I Y. I am just dying to know who is the beautiful NA spirit behind this set! Its very special to me. I just recently lost her she was french Canadian and Native American (she always said Algonquin) and she had the look of a Wabanaki…such an interesting journey into her family soo far but I am still researching her moms side to find papers…what a search. If anybody has any tips on searching french and Montagnais NA ancestry I welcome it😍

Here are the pictures of the set! So dainty and petite!
Thank You in Advance!


Beautiful set! I love this style of necklace. I couldn’t find an “IY” in Hougart’s and since it is etched instead of stamped it’s possible that these were the initials of a previous owner instead of a hallmark. In any case, I think it’s unlikely that the maker was a Yazzie since Yazzie is a Navajo surname and this style of work is Zuni.

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There are Zuni style makers with Yazzie surnames too…I have googled and looked and based on the age of the work style…wide flat links and the style of the scribed initials if they are in fact the maker is an old way of signing a piece and making the links. I also see the soldering as being a little more of the kind you see in older pieces that were made for the tourist market and the bend wire toggle as supporting factors of it being older like 70s…but those are kinda in the background of clues but umm…I dont know when the seller got it or anything else…it was an antique store find for my mom…its so lovely and hard to find these days…I feel so lucky she got it for me😍

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This is a Zuni style piece made by a Navajo Yazzie that has very similar characteristics to this set. The links are similar. The jewelers saw line looks very similar to my eye. The soldering is very similar. Its signed with an autopen too but they also wrote Navajo after their signatory line. It just seems to be related through age or proximation to being made or possibly family/similar surnames. Thanks for any help anybody can offer.

It is true that you will see Navajo artists make this style of Zuni jewelry. However, due to the age and the perfection of your piece I do believe this to be genuine Zuni work, not that of a Navajo artist. Which is better for you. Some Zuni last names with Y listed in Hougart’s book are Yamutewa, Yatsattie, Yatsayte, Yawakia, Yuselen, might research some of those.

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Thankyou Jason…what age range would you put this set in and what do you think the insurance/retail value might be?

Age is always difficult, did you have any information from your mom? I think of screw backs as pre 70s, but of course that doesn’t mean you still can’t make a piece with screw backs if you wanted to. $350

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Very true! I will start looking up those other Zuni artists…Thanks

So Jason beat me to it, but I also firmly believe your set to be Zuni. Although it is similar in many ways, the second necklace doesn’t strike me as much as Zuni and I’m not surprised it’s by a Navajo artist. For one thing, yours has those very small, fine petit point stones. As you said, so dainty and petite. The second necklace has noticeably larger stones. For another, yours are that perfect matrix-less medium blue turquoise that the Zuni have tended to favor, usually Sleeping Beauty or sometimes Kingman. And lastly, this style with the point of the petit point pointed out and the silver ball on the end in pretty much the exact size and proportion of yours to the stone is very common in Zuni jewelry. It has a distinctive look from the back that the second necklace you posted wouldn’t have. Here are some pics of a similar necklace I have by Rosemary and Quincy Panteah, Zuni. image1 image0

Not sure about age for yours but my feeling is that it’s 70’s. I see some color change in some of the stones indicating that it’s somewhat older.


I agree totally from the start that it was no doubt Zuni…my question came from researching the IY in the context of Zuni and coming up with more intrigue when I kept finding this petite style done by other artists with the Yazzie surname which I too am accustomed to see associated with mainly what we call Navajo style work but also being pleasantly surprised to see much if the old style petite size work in their work also. Thats what led me to think…is there an I. Yazzie too??? It didnt make complete sense to me either…lol but I thought I’d ask anyways since there are no absolutes in the jewelry world…I appreciate and value this sites community members greatly because of all these varying points of view to learn from…its endless fun for me to see stuff from all angles…now on to research all those names Jason gave us! To top it off heres a pic of the special person who gave that to me…I love ya mom!


The set is beautiful and so was your mom

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Thank you, and storytelling and stories about our NA heritage and appreciation for all nations are where my love of NA and First Nations love stem from. She was an empath and a healer with very hard life. Her family’s NA roots were torn away and “re-educated” by the Catholicism influenced Indian Schools in the Quebecois/Acadian region that they were all from. I have uncovered some of her stories truths but since the indian surnames were also eliminated largely its very hard to research and uncover the exact band or tribe she was part of and a lot of those tribes are unrecognized by the US Government. I have discovered though that her people are amazing bead and textile artists. I cant wait to uncover more and find my first handmade beaded piece that represents her culture she taught me how to use Indian medicine and always talked about a great grandmother(myGGGgrandmere) named Little Turtle and her NA grandfather that was an Algonquin(which is the tribe not the language she always said and the last victim of the re-education system) on our Labreque side…a beaded piece thats real would be an amazingly rare find! So many questions left??? :laughing: lol who knew this ancestry process would be soooo cool :sunglasses: