A concho belt is a common and popular piece of western decorative clothing. A traditional concho belt is unique to the Zuni and the Diné (Navajo), the Pueblo tribes from the Southwestern United States. Originating with Native Americans back in the 1800’s, a concho belt is typically handmade and fashioned from silver metal and turquoise stone. Concho belts are prized for their intricate silver and turquoise work, and no Southwest-style wardrobe is complete without one.
The concho belt is worn by both men and women. Now, as in the early 19th century, these belts are valued for much more than ornamental worth. Each one is intended to tell a story about the artisan that fashioned it, the significance of which is not lost upon passing ownership of the belt. In fact, concho belts represent an oral tradition that is passed on to each generation within a family. Of course, they also represent considerable material wealth and can fetch very handsome profits if sold or traded. Also, concho belts are considered highly prized pieces of jewelry since they’re typically constructed of braided leather and round or oval pieces of silver embellished with gemstones. These adornments are displayed in groups and are named from the Spanish word conchas to mean “shells.” For this reason, a concho belt is sometimes referred to as a concha belt.
The Concho Belt Pictures