|The simple ring brooch was one of the earliest, most numerous, versitile and long lived silver items used in the Indian trade. As the availability of silver ore increased, so did the consumption of brooches. The simple ring brooch was sometimes referred to as a shirt buckle or breast ring.
Pierced brooches were more intricate than the ring brooch. To make a pierced brooch, a round piece of metal was punched or drilled with circles, triangles, squares, hearts or all. They also had rocker engraving and a tongue-like faster.
Another popular type of trade silver brooch was the crowned heart or Lukenbooth brooch. They were initially given as token of love in 14th century Europe. Native Americans had no such design, but found the heart acceptable.
Brooches were worn singly or in rows, pinned on blankets, shirts, pouch straps or hung from the hair and ears by ribbons. It was not uncommon for a person to were numbers of fifty or more. Wearing them in a group of graduated sizes alluded to a cycle of growth.
|This woman is wearing numbers of pierced and ring brooches in graduated sizes|