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New Mexico State Necklace

Native American Squash Blossom Necklace

New Mexico State Necklace? Native American Squash Blossom Necklace

Adopted in June 17, 2011.

New Mexico has an official state necklace because of a new law.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a measure Monday designating the Native American squash blossom necklace as the official necklace of New Mexico.

The law takes effect June 17, 2011. The necklace features silver beads called squash blossoms with turquoise or other gem stones. The necklace joins a long list of state symbols, such as the state flower, bird, insect and cookie.

New Mexico State Necklace:
Native American Squash Blossom Necklace

New Mexico State Necklace? Native American Squash Blossom Necklace

Squash blossom" is a term which has long been applied to a unique necklace produced by Southwestern Indians. It was first made by the Navajo and later by the Zuni and Hopi Indians.

To this day it is still made by these three tribes, either to be worn by the Indians or for sale. The term squash blossom was evidently attached at an early date to the unusual bead which has a flowering end.

The Navajo word "Chil Bitan" means flower-like bead, or more literally translated, "bead which spreads out."

However, the flower is not believed to be a squash blossom, and really does not resemble one: it is like a young pomegranate. The pomegranate was a symbol of Granada, Spain, and Spanish and Mexican dandies wore a small silver version of this symbol to decorate their blouses, capes, and trousers.

Navajo Indians may have seen one of these decorations and incorporated it into a plain silver bead necklace. They had already borrowed the Spanish crescent moon and star symbol which was attached to the horse's bridle, on the center of the animal's forehead.

Navajo craftsmen simplified this theme, often to a plain crescent; in fact, the Navajo word for this ornament is "nazhahi" - now commonly spelled naja which means crescent.

The naja was first worn with plain silver beads, but later became a part of the distinctive squash blossom necklace.

New Mexico Law

The law designating the Native American squash blossom necklace as the official New Mexico state necklace is found in the 2013 New Mexico Statutes, Article 3, Section 12-4-4 U.

Chapter 12 - Miscellaneous Public Affairs Matters
Article 3 - State Seal, Song and Symbols
Section 12-3-4 - State flower; state bird; state tree; state fish; state animal; state vegetables; state gem; state grass; state fossil; state cookie; state insect; state question; state answer; state nickname; state butterfly; state reptile; state amphibian; state amphibian; state aircraft; state historic railroad; state tie; state necklace.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 12-3-4 (2013)

12-3-4. State flower; state bird; state tree; state fish; state animal; state vegetables; state gem; state grass; state fossil; state cookie; state insect; state question; state answer; state nickname; state butterfly; state reptile; state amphibian; state aircraft; state historic railroad; state tie; state necklace. (2011)
A. The yucca flower is adopted as the official flower of New Mexico.
B. The chaparral bird, commonly called roadrunner, is adopted as the official bird of New Mexico.
C. The nut pine or pinon tree, scientifically known as Pinus edulis, is adopted as the official tree of New Mexico.
D. The native New Mexico cutthroat trout is adopted as the official fish of New Mexico.
E. The native New Mexico black bear is adopted as the official animal of New Mexico.
F. The chile, the Spanish adaptation of the chilli, and the pinto bean, commonly known as the frijol, are adopted as the official vegetables of New Mexico.
G. The turquoise is adopted as the official gem of New Mexico.
H. The blue grama grass, scientifically known as Bouteloua gracillis, is adopted as the official grass of New Mexico.
I. The coelophysis is adopted as the official fossil of New Mexico.
J. The bizcochito is adopted as the official cookie of New Mexico.
K. The tarantula hawk wasp, scientifically known as Pepsis formosa, is adopted as the official insect of New Mexico.
L. "Red or green?" is adopted as the official question of New Mexico.
M. "Red and green or Christmas" is adopted as the official answer of New Mexico.
N. "The Land of Enchantment" is adopted as the official nickname of New Mexico.
O. The Sandia hairstreak is adopted as the official butterfly of New Mexico.
P. The New Mexico whiptail lizard, scientifically known as Cnemidophorus neomexicanus, is adopted as the official reptile of New Mexico.
Q. The New Mexico spadefoot toad, scientifically known as Spea multiplicata, is adopted as the official amphibian of New Mexico.
R. The hot air balloon is adopted as the official aircraft of New Mexico.
S. The Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad is adopted as the official historic railroad of New Mexico.
T. The bolo tie is adopted as the official tie of New Mexico.
U. The Native American squash blossom necklace is adopted as the official necklace of New Mexico.
History: Laws 1927, ch. 102, § 1; C.S. 1929, § 129-101; 1941 Comp., § 3-1303; Laws 1949, ch. 142, § 1; 1953 Comp., § 4-14-3; Laws 1955, ch. 245, § 1; 1963, ch. 2, § 1; 1965, ch. 20, § 1; 1967, ch. 51, § 1; 1967, ch. 118, § 1; 1973, ch. 95, § 1; 1981, ch. 123, § 1; 1989, ch. 8, § 1; 1989, ch. 154, § 1; 1999, ch. 266, § 1; 1999, ch. 271, § 1; 2003, ch. 182, § 1; 2005, ch. 4, § 1; 2005, ch. 254, § 1; 2007, ch. 10, § 1; 2007, ch. 179, § 1; 2011, ch. 52, § 1.

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