Promise of the Princess Bride

Posted on September 20, 2013

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 Promise of a Princess Bride, features:

  • Antique triangular ‘telsum’ prayer box protective amulet pendants, from the Oromo Tribe of Ethiopia, circa early 1900s (see history below).
  • Old ghungroo bell beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history below).
  • Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya (see history below).
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Knotted hemp and an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $389

Length: 25cm
Width of prayer box: 2cm

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.

Ethiopian ‘Telsum’ Prayer Boxes:
Ethiopian prayer boxes are traditionally made from an amalgamation of silver, alloy and/or nickel. Some are elaborately decorated and feature granulated designs created with melted silver. Worn by the Oromo People as protective amulets from various perils and superstitions, these particular amulets date from the early 1900s.
The triangular shaped silver boxes are believed to fend off evil spirits and the evil eye, where crescent shaped amulets protect against the powers and spells of the crescent moon. Square, rectangular and irregularly shaped pendants also serve similar purposes of protection, and the phallic shaped beads are worn to promote fertility.
The Banjara People:
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.

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