FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2018
Kyla McKown/Public Relations Specialist
OKMULGEE, Okla. – Muscogee (Creek) citizen Kenneth Johnson, a silversmith, has thought for years it would be an honor to create the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Royalty silver crowns, which are worn by the MCN Miss and Jr. Miss throughout their reign.
For the 2018-2019 Miss and Jr. Miss Muscogee (Creek) Nation, they will be wearing the new silver crowns made by Johnson.
The previous silver crowns have been retired and will be on display at the MCN Tribal Complex once the display is completed.
Johnson is also Seminole and created the Seminole Nation princesses’ crowns.
Johnson said it’s a great honor to have been approached by MCN to create the new crowns.
“I think it’s a great honor because those princesses go out and represent the Nation and I want them to have the best of what our Nation has to offer,” Johnson said. “I think we do that in the beaded crowns and now in the silver crowns, also.”
The beaded crowns are made each year for the princesses to keep after their reign.
However, the silver crowns are worn at different functions and are returned after each event to be held in an undisclosed location under lock because of the value of each crown.
The new sterling silver crown designs are based on the tribal seal with specific details including pink muscle shell that represents the Mvskoke people.
They also feature white and red shell representing the tribal towns, the red tribal towns and the white tribal towns for war and peace.
Johnson said he sees the crown as a canvas and works specifically around the idea of how the crowns will look from a distance.
“I work on everything up close and from under a microscope but I know that these will be seen from a distance in parades, functions and ceremony,” Johnson said. “So, I try to make it, what I call glance value.”
Most crowns are made out of nickel; however, the sterling silver crowns hold more value.
Johnson uses an independent appraiser to value the crowns, which is based on metal weight, technique and materials.
The appraiser works off of replacement value and for these specific crowns, the shell Johnson has collected over the past 20 years was used and raises the value because it’s not a renewable resource.
Johnson was a mechanical engineering student and realized one day he’d like to be a part of a project from start to finish, which he is able to do when making crowns.
Johnson apprenticed himself with a Choctaw metal smith in 1988 to learn the trade and has been creating jewelry and other pieces ever since.
For more information on Johnson’s work, visit his website at www.kennethjohnson.com.