A sky blue gemstone found in only a few places in the world. Including Egypt and Arizona.
Turquoise is a blue-green copper-aluminum phosphate mineral much associated with ancient Egypt…It is a relatively rare stone, mined today primarily in the American Southwest, Iran, and China; the sources of turquoise most easily available to the ancient Egyptians were in the southwest Sinai, from deposits that apparently were long ago substantially depleted. The most important ancient turquoise mines in the Sinai are found in two locations: Wadi Maghara and Serabit el-Khadim.Turquoise in Ancient Egypt (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
In many cultures of the Old and New Worlds, this gemstone has been esteemed for thousands of years as a holy stone, a bringer of good fortune or a talisman. The oldest evidence for this claim was found in Ancient Egypt, where grave furnishings with turquoise inlay were discovered, dating from approximately 3000 BCE…
The goddess Hathor was associated with turquoise, as she was the patroness of Serabit el-Khadim, where it was mined. Her titles included “Lady of Turquoise”, “Mistress of Turquoise”, and “Lady of Turquoise Country”…
The turquoise is also a stone in the Jewish High Priest’s breastplate, described in Exodus chapter 28. The stone is also considered sacred to the indigenous Zuni and Pueblo peoples of the American Southwest. The pre-Columbian Aztec and Maya also considered it to be a valuable and culturally important stone.Turquoise (Wikipedia)
Turquoise is important to many Native American tribes, especially those in the American Southwest. The specific symbolism varies among the tribes but includes protection from evil or harm, strength and vitality, rain/water, and tears.
For the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, the tribe closest to where Barberry Lake would be, turquoise is part of their flag.
The color blue represents that the Yavapai are “from the sky.” Blue also represents water and Komwidamapokwia, the mother of this generation of Yavapai, who was the only survivor of the world flood…The Symbolism of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe Flag
Komwidamapokwia gave the Yavapai four stones for medicine and directions. These stones were white, turquoise, red and black and are depicted near the edges of the basket in the four directions.
My sibling characters Helena, Yelena, and Zach are 1/4 Yavapai. I don’t state which Yavapai tribe because those tribes are small and I don’t want to confuse the characters with real people.
- Turquoise in Ancient Egypt (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
- Turquoise (New World Encyclopedia)
- Turquoise (Wikipedia)
- Why is Turquoise Significant in Native American Culture?
- The Symbolism of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe Flag