Native Cultures, Albuquerque
One can't travel through the Southwest without spotting Ristras strewn along a roofline or colorfully accenting a country kitchen.
Ristras are a string of dried red chile, which tradition says bring good luck. Many years ago, if the farmers didn't eat them outright, they would string up the chiles with sisal or twine to cure them.
I'm told that if you want ristras to last, they can be sprayed with shellac in order to better preserve them. They can also be found in heart or wreath shapes (picture #2).