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Turquoise & Tufa

Contemporary Ring by Native Fashion Icon Orlando Dugi

Contemporary Ring by Native Fashion Icon Orlando Dugi

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If you've been following the Native American fashion scene, you'll know who Orlando Dugi is. If not, Orlando is a Diné fashion designer, known for his cutting-edge clothing creations of original wearable artwork. While his luxurious designs beckon the catwalks of New York Fashion Week, us Santa Feans like to claim him as our own. 

Over a decade ago, Martha Hopkins Struever met Orlando Dugi when he was just starting out in fashion and said, "I expect Orlando Dugi to go very far in the art world." That, he did. In fact, even back in 2010, Orlando Dugi received First Place in the SWAIA Indian Market clothing contest for his “In Full Bloom” hand-beaded evening gown along with First Place for his “Celestial Phoenix” evening box purse collaboration. 

This "Galaxy" ring is one of the few pieces of contemporary jewelry that Orlando Dugi ever created. He made it back in those early days of his career. It's a special piece because Orlando only made jewelry for a very short period of time. He doesn't even have his jewelry-making tools anymore. 

Like most of Orlando Dugi's exquisite dresses, this ring is made to be flaunted!  More a piece of high art than your everyday ring, the one-of-a-kind sparkly bauble is handmade of Hubeite and Apophyllite on a giant chunk of quartz set in silver. It used to have a flowing ostrich feather attached, but now the stone stands all by its lonesome.

There's always cultural significance behind Orlando Dugi's designs whether they're jewelry or clothing. According to Dugi, this ring was inspired by a Navajo crystal gazing ceremony where prayers to the stars are sent up through smoking tobacco. The two circular cut-outs on the shank of the ring represent the moon and the earth while the long cut-out represents a person's lifeline.  

The face of the ring measures 2" x 3/4" high and 7/8" across.  It is a size 9 1/4, while it's unsigned, Orlando will gladly claim it as his own. There's also a photo of Orlando with the ring (sans feather) for the ring's new owner.

You'll never find another like it! Guaranteed!

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