Bola Tie

Arizona State Neckwear

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Zuni inlay bola tie

Zuni inlay bola tie made by Navajo & Zuni American Indians in Arizona or New Mexico; photo from Gold Mountain Mining Company (used by permission).

Bola Tie

The bola tie was designated the official neckwear of Arizona in 1973. A bola (sometimes called bolo) tie is a type of necktie consisting of a piece of cord or braided leather with decorative metal tips secured with an ornamental clasp or slide. A silver bola tie adorned with turquoise (Arizona's state gemstone) is generally considered the official style, but bola ties come in a large variety of styles.

Bola tie slides and tips in silver have been part of Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni silversmithing traditions since the mid - 20th century. Bola ties are widely associated with Western wear and New Mexico also adopted the bola tie as a state symbol in 2007.

Silversmith Victor Cedarstaff of Wickenburg, Arizona, claims to have invented the bolo tie in the late 1940's (and later patented his slide design) but it is also said that bola ties are a North American pioneer creation that dates back to between 1866 and 1886. Boleadoras or bolas (from Spanish bola, which means "ball") are throwing weapons made of weights attached to the end of cords.

Arizona

Images

Typical bola tie tips; photo from Gold Mountain Mining Company (used by permission).

Typical bola tie tips

Bola tie tips; photo from Gold Mountain Mining Company (used by permission).

Zuni bola tie tips

"Storyteller" bola tie made by Navajo & Zuni American Indians in Arizona or New Mexico; photo from Gold Mountain Mining Company (used by permission).

"Storyteller" bola tie

Turquoise and coral bola tie made by Navajo & Zuni Indians in Arizona or New Mexico; photo from Gold Mountain Mining Company (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Turquoise and coral bola tie