Many professional women wear pearls with their outfits. Deb Haaland, second term Congresswoman from New Mexico, wears Navajo pearls. These graduated silver beads are the signature piece in her large collection of Native American jewelry.
When she was sworn in for her second term as Congresswoman from New Mexico, Haaland picked a traditional outfit from the Laguna Pueblo near Albuquerque, of which she is a member. But such attire is not practical for everyday activities, so she has found a different route to emphasize her heritage—through jewelry.
I have never seen a photo of Haaland without a necklace. Many are combinations of silver and turquoise, but they also include other stones and intricate bead work. Earrings are always added, as well as pins and bracelets. It’s a refreshing change from the more subdued jewelry that other women delegates wear. We are likely to see more of her collection when she becomes the first Native American Interior Secretary.
Of course you don’t have to be a Native American to wear this stunning jewelry. My great aunt, a South Dakota native with Irish roots, wore pieces from her large collection every day. And all of us can find a signature piece to remind others of who we are. It’s an inspiration to dig out my earrings and bracelets that have been languishing during Covid.