The Grand Canyon Of Arizona: How To See It By George Wharton James

 -  From the Mexican and the pueblo Indian he rapidly
picked up the necessary knowledge, and practice soon gave the skill - Page 179
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From The Mexican And The Pueblo Indian He Rapidly Picked Up The Necessary Knowledge, And Practice Soon Gave The Skill To Fashion The Silver Into Every Desired Shape.

Navahos Used Silver Three Centuries Ago.

Cushing contends that the Zunis knew how to smelt metals before the Spanish conquest, but the statement is strongly disputed. There can be no question, however, but that the large use of silver ornaments by both pueblo and Navaho Indians dates from three hundred and fifty years ago, after Coronado's conquistadores had found out that this was no land of gold and precious metals, as was Peru.

In almost every pueblo of Arizona and New Mexico, and in many a Navaho hogan, one may find the primitive silversmith at work. There is no silversmith's shop, but generally in a corner of the quaint pueblo house, or in an adjunct to the Navaho hogan, the worker quietly pursues his important avocation; for in a community whose members have no other metallic arts, the silversmith is an important man, and sees to it that his profession is regarded with the high dignity it deserves.

Method of Working. With a rude mud forge, - the bellows of which, though primitive, is as ingenious as any patent bellows invented, - a hammer, a piece of railroad steel for an anvil, a three-cornered file, one or two punches, a crucible which he understands how to make as well as the best metallurgist in the land, and a bit of solder, he goes to work.

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