Monday, January 18, 2010

Botanical Bangles and Beads

Seeds have been worn for ornamentation for at least 40,000 years. I have a fascination for botanical jewelry. Seeds are readily available to the local cultures and they have so many uses and so much lore surrounding them. Seeds are used for adornment, to heal, to protect, to bring good luck, to ease childbirth, as a form of weights and measures, for soap, for rosaries, for ceremony, for ivory, for fragrance, to protect from the evil eye and much more......for food, to the tourist trade. All of these uses are captivating. In addition to all of those uses, they all look so unique and this is how plants reproduce!

Many of the seeds above are called Sea Beans or Drift Seeds- these world travelers hitch rides on the oceans currents and then are often found on the beaches in temperate climates. They often have a large tough outer pod that's either thick or spiny or both to protect them through the journey. The large black bean above is called a Sea Heart. It can be polished in a stone tumbler and engraved.

All these beads came home with me from a trip to the Peruvian Amazon. The locals handcraft these necklaces to trade with the ecotourists. One t-shirt = one necklace. The orange and black seed is the Ormosia and offers protection from the evil eye. The large brown seed in the middle is the Crabwood Sea Bean when rattled together they chase away spirits.

These are some of my other favorite necklaces. The one on the right is commonly thought to be apple seeds but is actually a legume, Leucana glauca. The colorful corn necklace is a reminder of our trip to the Southwest.

1 comment:

teen girl photo said...

it look so unique.. I like it.