(Sp. model spelled same [kón,t∫as] < Late Latin conchulam, diminutive of concha 'shell')
   Ornaments, usually made of silver, used to decorate saddles and other pieces of riding gear, including the chaps, saddleskirt, spurs, etc. Concha is Spanish for 'shell.' Cobos notes that in New Mexico and Southern Colorado Spanish, a concha may be a disc made of nickel or leather that serves as a washer for saddle strings, or a shell-shaped disc made of silver or copper used on Navajo Indian belts. With the exception of Cobos, Spanish sources do not reference the term as a silver decoration; it is evident that the southwestern definition is an extension of the meaning of 'shell' and refers to the shape of the decorations.
   Alternate forms: chonchos, conchos.

Cowboy Talk. A Dictionary of Spanish Terms. . 2013.

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