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Bola Tie

Arizona State Neckwear

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

Official State Neckwear of Arizona

The bola tie was designated the official neckwear of Arizona in 1973 (also the state tie of New Mexico and Texas). Bola ties are widely associated with Western wear. All Cultural Heritage Symbols

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 silver-smithing traditions since the mid-20th century.

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.