Dear Deadwood -- The relationship between "concho", the decorative metal disk, and the Concho tribe of northern Mexico-southwest Texas is that the Indians were named after the metal disk. The word "concho" in Spanish, especially colloquial Spanish, has a number of meanings, one of which is not printable in a family magazine. We would like to think that the Spaniards were not thinking of this meaning when they gave the name "concho" to the tribe but were, rather, naming them after something they wore or liked to wear (note that "Concho" is not, of course, what those Indians called themselves). -- Dr. Deb
Dear DrDeb, thank you for the concho tribe explanation; what I am trying to research is the real origin of the conchos before they became a decorative item.
It is my understanding that the spanish may have used these coins, pins, multiple conchos (berry) as a form of belonging to a ranch/group of horsemen and/or saddle markings. It was only in a second moment that they started to use it as a decoration maybe because of quantity of metal and native ability to work silvera nd metals in some part of the new world.
Yet, the name 'concho' is quite popular; rio concho, fort concho, concho tribe. Would not mind learning the 'non pg' meaning of concho in spanish.
Dear Deadwood: Ahh, I see. The explanation you are seeking goes back rather farther into history. In that case, I would suggest you turn to the literature on Roman decoration -- for a start. Spanish decorative traditions have three major roots: (1) African (including not only Berber and Carthaginian, but also some sub-Saharan influences); (2) Roman; (3) Islamic, i.e. Turkish, Arabian, Egyptian.
There are a number of volumes that touch on Romano-British decorative items published by the Vindolanda Trust -- go to http://www.vindolanda.com. You'll want to ask them for publications that show metal decorations on horse tack. You can also look through the B.A.R. catalog (British Archaeological Research) for appropriate titles -- just Google that and go from there. There is a whole archaeological sub-discipline that deals with decorative finials, jewelry, beadwork, and the like. -- Dr. Deb