Alchemy of Art
Posted on August 27, 2013
al·che·my [al-kuh-mee] Magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.
Republic of You collects a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.
We encourage individuality whilst at the same time celebrating history, art, fashion and creativity. Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.
This piece titled The Alchemy of Art, features:
- Old handmade silver alloy Kuchi rattle pendant and tribal ghungroo bell beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history).
- Vintage blue glass beads from Nepal.
- Old metal skull mala beads from Tibet.
- Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
- Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya (see history).
- Knotted hemp with an adjustable brass chain.
- AUD $389
Width of rattle pendant: 3cm PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
The piece is fastened at its longest point for this measurement.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.
The Banjara Tribe:
The Banjara People are a collective of nomadic gypsy tribes from Northern India. They are said to be the descendants of the Roma gypsies of Europe who migrated to India through the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and finally settled in Rajasthan.
Originally the Banjaras were bullock transport carriers and builders of great monuments. For centuries they efficiently moved their enormous caravans through the vast roadless tracks of India guaranteeing safe conduct for grain, salt and messages. Due to the nomadic nature of their culture, they traditionally ‘wore’ their wealth creating a unique aesthetic, colorful dress and spectacular jewelry quite unlike any other tribe.
Ostrich Eggshell Beads:
Ostrich eggshell beads are considered the oldest known man-made bead in history. Archaeologists discovered ostrich eggshell beads along with numerous other artifacts in the Loiyangalani River Valley, Tanzania, East Africa. These archaeologists believed they originated from the African Middle Stone Age between 28,000 and 45,000 years ago.
Ostrich eggshells are considered a gift from the gods. Not only does the inside of the egg feed a family, the outside can be used as a water vessel, once broken or cracked, the eggshell can then be made into beads. In addition to their value as objects or personal decoration, ostrich eggshell beads also serve as a means of barter.
Ostrich eggshell beads symbolize fertility, prosperity, good luck and good fortune. This ancient laborious and tedious craft is still practiced by the San Bushman women today. The lengthy process of their creation makes them relatively scarce and highly valued.