Beads from nature..bone, horn, wood, nuts feathers, clay and recycled paper…
Bone Beads (farmed water buffalo and barracuda fish vertebrae)
Bone is easily carved, drilled, dyed and polished a porous substance which traditionally symbolised a tribes connection to its ancestors and the transient nature of life. It was worn for connection to ancestral power and reverence for their ancestors. Historically, it has been used in adornment as long as man has hunted. Man has used the teeth, bone, feathers and even vertebrae to create all sorts of ornamentation including breastplates as worn by Native American Indians. The extremely skilled carvers use a handheld grinding wheel to produce intricately carved pieces. Bone is often dyed using tea and more vibrant colours.
Clay Beads (hand made)
Clay is a gift from the earth and it connects us to the energy of the mother archetype within ourselves. It is a reminder to take time to rest, to nurture and to rejuvinate one self. We come from the earth and to the earth we shall return.
We stock an extraordinary range of 1970s large macrame natural clay terra cotta beads with huge holes plus Indian clay terra cotta beads which are all hand painted and textured on the surface to create organic beads which is ideal for bohemian style jewellery designs.
Horn Beads (farmed water buffalo)
Horn is from ethically farmed buffalo. Colour ranges from golden amber to black and white/grey. Prices vary according to rarity of the colour. White/grey being the most expensive. Horn is naturally dense, yet very lightweight, and can last longer than most natural materials and have anatural shimmering quality. Golden horn beads look as good as natural amber but without the higher cost.
Traditionally horn was worn for protection and manifestation in tribal cultures. It is the physical body of the warrior energy within for many tribes and was used to focus intentions and move ahead with clarity.
Get in touch with nature and use feathers in your jewellery designs. Go ahead and express your wild side!
Whether you want some old Hollywood glamour, or want to glam up jeans and t-shirt duo, feathers will add that extra fabulosity to your attire.
Feathers in jewellery can find its way back to the earliest adornments, incorporated in earrings, bone necklaces, hair accessories, stone amulets and a wealth of other items.
- Ethical. No birds are harmed. Birds naturally molt their feathers to replace old or damaged ones.
- Clean. Collected feathers are professionally cleaned and disinfected.
- One-of-a-kind. There will be slight variations in colour, size, and shape. The feather lengths that are provided are close approximate ranges. Feathers may vary a little shorter or longer than the given lengths.
- Place the end of your feather in a box caroltte.(or leather end)
- Squash one flap over leather end using chain nose pliers.
- Squash second flap over first and add an oval jumpring to attach to the earpart, chain etc
- Types. guinea plumage & peacock. Natural peacock eye feathers are composed of many vivid colours. In history, peacock eye feathers have been associated with the “all seeing” and have been known to symbolize protection.
Kukui Nut Beads (Hawaii)
The Kukui is the state tree & the most common of Hawaii, also known as the Candlenut tree. The tree has a Spiritual meaning of light, hope, and renewal.
The nuts are traditionally strung into necklaces known as leis. Kukui were the first prayer beads for the Hawaiian people. Today they are worn for protection, given as a greeting and in an exchange of vows by the couple to be wed. (Symbolically, the two lights of two spirits intermingle to become one in a holy union.) The oil is used for Lomi lomi massage.
In Ancient Hawaii The kukui nut lei was only worn by royalty, the Kukui oil was used to make light and dye.
These nuts have been sanded and painted and make a lovely accent in jewellery and are an ideal bead for a baby and wedding blessing.
Nut Pendants & Buttons (South America)
Deep in the Amazon Rainforest grows the Ivory Palm. Using rainforest seeds to create jewellery provides an additional economic incentive to save the tropical jungles from deforestation.
The purchase of this product supports the employment of the native community and helps stabilise the rainforest and ultimately the world environments.
Recycled Paper Beads: Acholi Beads (Uganda)
We are excited about our new range of fair trade eco paper beads. Be captivated by their individual style and textures whilst supporting an ethical & handmade purchase.
The Ugandan “upcycling” bead project moves away from charitable aid & onto the concept of business enterprise for sustainable income & development.
Recycled magazines & other waste paper destined for landfill is collected from printing companies & at the recycled market places. The pages are cut into triangles & then rolled into beads. They are coated with a non toxic, odourless varnish which gives them a water resistant & glossy finish as well as protecting them from fading. Create unique, social & ethical gorgeous jewels such as necklaces, earrings & bracelets.
The women of the Acholi tribe formed a beading collective after they were forced to flee their villages in Northern Uganda due to a civil war. They resettled in the capital city, Kampala, where the sale of these amazing beads means that they are now able to afford the school fees for their children.
Thanking you for choosing our Ugandan beads which directly supports individual women working in inspirational community art initiative.
The Use of Organic Materials in Tribal Adornment
Traditionally African jewellery has been used to adorn, everything from ears heads and necks to legs ties arms and waists. They can be pierced sewn or shaped onto body parts and sometimes if left for a long time can restrict movement and cause physical body damage.
Beads are an integral part of African culture shaped by the very nature of a tribe or nations geography which influenced the availability of different types of raw materials seeds, nuts, shells, bones, tusks, teeth etc and the exposure to Islamic and European culture. Beaded adornment signifies…in a symbolic language more pronounced in Africa than in any other part of the world.
Pastoralist focus on ornamenting the body rather than their homes because they are constantly on the move. Traditionally they use small uniform seed beads strung in multiple rows to create layered necklaces with each colour signifying a valued part of their world. E.g. green grass which sustains their cattle, blue to the sky and high God, white for milk and purity, red for blood.
It is interesting to note that the vast majority of African beaded adornments are not the expression of an individual artist or wearer but the community by communicating and reinforcing shafted vales which play a major role in initiation rituals birth circumcision, marriage warrior hood, kingship and death.
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