Take Me to the Sea
Posted on August 14, 2013
This piece titled Take Me to the Sea, features:
- Old silver alloy tribal coin pendant, and ghungroo bell beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India
- Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
- Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya.
- Knotted and an adjustable brass chain.
- AUD $389
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.
The History and Tradition of 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.