Category Archives: Culture

⋅STØRŸ OF THÈ SQÛÄSH BLÖSŠOM⋅

June 24, 2015

¤ Squash blossom necklaces are one of our most unique items here at Child of Wild. Their rustic feel and hand made design make them a one of a kind accessory to intensify any outfit. Not only are squash blossom necklaces intriguing to look at, their symbolism reaches as far back as the Paleolithic period. Take a journey with us as we trace the roots of the beautiful squash blossom. ¤

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

¤ The two main components of the squash blossom necklace are the inverted crescent pendant that hangs centrally and the flower beads that symmetrically frame it on either side. ¤

SQUASH BLOSSOM

¤ The upside down crescent ~ referred to by the Navajo as the naja ~ is a common symbol circulated by many world cultures. Universally, the inverted crescent is a symbol worn to ward off bad luck or the ‘evil eye.’ Originally used by the Moors in the Middle Ages, this emblem ornamented horse bridles to ensure the horse and its rider a safe journey or successful conquest. ¤

SQUASH BLOSSOM

¤ The Spanish and Portuguese adopted this custom upon witnessing its use by the Moors and brought it with them when they traveled to South and Central America. The trend soon caught on in Mexico and then reached the neighboring Navajo. ¤

SQUASH BLOSSOM

¤ The Navajo squash blossom necklace is the most widely recognized form of the inverted crescent in today’s society. However, the naja, traditionally thought of as a repellant of bad energy, holds a very different meaning for the Navajo. ¤

SQUASH BLOSSOM

¤ In Native American culture, the squash blossom necklace is a highly esteemed symbol that marks their transition from a raiding society to a mercantile one. Within the tribe, prestige was once earned through ransacking and pillaging, however since the manufacturing of squash blossom accessories, a man or woman could instead pride themselves upon their craftsmanship and silverwork. ¤

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

¤ Around the 1800s, floral beads were added to squash blossom necklaces. The squash blossom necklace receives its name from these beads; however, the name is a misnomer. The floral shape actually resembles the Spanish-Mexican pomegranate blossom, not the squash blossom. The pomegranate blossom is the symbol of Granada, Spain so it is likely the Navajo received these beads from the Spanish and their name was mistranslated during the transaction. The first beads were made purely of silver, but over time they became more and more elaborate with the addition of turquoise and other natural stones. ¤

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

Shop our squash blossoms!

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

SQUASH BLOSSOM

CROSSING OVER

›› ÇRÖSŠING ØVËR ‹‹

June 16, 2015

‹♦ Christianity was introduced to most of the African continent during the late 19th century by European missionaries. Ethiopia, however, is one of the few countries that practiced Christianity well before European colonialism. In the 4th century, King Ezana of Ethiopia declared the state religion to be Orthodox Christianity and Ethiopian coptic crosses began to be produced. ♦›

CROSSING OVER

CROSSING OVER

‹♦ Ethiopian crosses are easily distinguishable from their beautiful baroque style lattice work. In general, elaborate geometric patterns are seen in Ethiopian art, so it’s not surprising this tradition was carried into their crosses. The overlapping designs are symbolic of an everlasting life and still hold that value in modern day. ♦›

CROSSING OVER

‹♦ Originally, crosses were cut out of bone, wood, leather, or stone. Starting in the 19th century, silver coins called birr became more regularly used and were melted down to create silver crosses. Different patterns and designs were incorporated depending on the region where the cross was made, and who the artisan was. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians began to wear their locally designed crosses as a statement of their faith and of their pride of their hometown. ♦›

CROSSING OVER

CROSSING OVER

CROSSING OVER

‹♦ Throw on an Ethiopian cross or beadwork to show off your faith or simply add some flair to your look! Shop these styles now: ♦›

CROSSING OVER

CROSSING OVER

CROSSING OVER

CROSSING OVER

∴ BØLD LÌKE ÂN ÏNÐÎAN BRÍDE ∴

June 4, 2015

⊃ No one accessorizes like an Indian bride! On her wedding day, an Indian bride will ornament herself through an intricate process called solah shringar. Solah shringar translates to 16 adornments – mirroring the 16 phases of the moon – and  includes pieces that highlight and celebrate every aspect of her female form. Each piece of jewelry holds symbolic significance with years of tradition behind it. ⊂

INDIAN BRIDE

INDIAN BRIDE

INDIAN BRIDE

⊃ Two of the most important details of solah shringar are the maang tikka and the bindi. The maang tikka hooks to the bride’s sari, falls down across her head, and rests on her temple. The maang tikka represents the wisdom a bride carries into her marriage in addition to protecting her from any bad energy. Aesthetically, the maang tikka adds elegance to the bride’s headdress and heightens her allure. ⊂

INDIAN BRIDE

INDIAN BRIDE

⊃ Bindis are worn in addition to the maang tikka. Traditionally, they are composed of a red vermillion powder dot in between the eyebrows, for red reflects love, honor, and prosperity. However, bindis can also include gems and be worn along the curves of the eyebrow as well. In the wedding ceremony, the bindi symbolizes the devotion of the bride to her husband and is worn to intensify the bride’s intellect. The area where the bindi is worn is known to be the sixth chakra, ajna, or the third eye. The sixth chakra is the energy node of concealed wisdom and the bindi enhances that wisdom. ⊂

INDIAN BRIDE

INDIAN BRIDE

An Indian bride will wear a maang tikka and bindi on her wedding day to ensure she looks and feels her best; however these looks can be rocked any time to empower your sixth chakra or heighten your allure. Shop these styles now:

Cherished Bridal Headdress

Durga Goddess Headdress

Pearl Hearts Bridal Head Tikka

Crystal Sixth Chakra Bindi

Shop our Indian wedding collection “LoveSTONED

Extra images sourced on Pinterest/Google Images

» ◊ H Ü NG on HMØNG ◊ «

May 26, 2015

Souls and ghouls, sprites and spooks- we love ourselves the ancient folklore that ties us to our supernatural roots.  When it comes to glowing tales of silver and spirits, the Hmong do it best.  Ancestrally understood as the hill tribe ‘Miao’, the Hmong traditions drift mostly through Thailand, Laos, Burma, and Vietnam.  Notorious for their strong will and soft souls, the Hmong have a rich heart of tradition that radiates in their jewelry- and we really dig it.

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97bd6c8cb5109de47844856bfcd55d8cSongs of Hmong heritage are mirrored within their traditional jewelry and ornaments, with spiritual folklore dwelling deep within each piece.  Silver represents far more than wealth to their community, as it personifies the marrow of ‘good life’.  9330e3327c2898709c1a1b1e19a27580

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The Hmong are worshippers of the spirit, or ‘animists’, believing that every animate and inanimate object has a soul, spirit, or phi.  Silver plays a vital role in warding off negative spirits, keeping souls at peace, and directing those positive vibes to the places that need it.  The Hmong etch beautiful stories of culture and tradition by carving intricate motifs of good fortune or protection into their adornments.  Check out a few of our favorite Hmong pieces and the auras behind their designs.

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Our Healing Spirit Hill tribe necklace:

IMG_3481_1024x1024Handmade by the Hmong dwelling north of the Laos border in China, the metal tassel detail invites spirits meant to bring good health and well-being with their chime-like sounds.  Etched within the silver is a motif of an elephant, trunk raised, indicating good luck and fortune.

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Hmong forest warrior cuff:
IMG_2725_1024x1024The feather design represents protection in the forest, and is commonly adorned during ceremonies and festivals.

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Our Fisherman’s Kiss cuff:

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The fish is a powerful symbol of good fortune to the Hmong people.  This bracelet is worn during ceremonies and festivals to promote good luck and a successful season of fishing.

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Our Fire of Peace Cuff, Dragon Warrior Arm Cuff, & Dragon’s Fire Silver Cuff:

IMG_3576_largeDragons are a potent symbol of fortune, good luck, and strength.  Etchings and embellishments of dragon faces are meant to scare off negative spirits.

IMG_2269_3b3f619c-870e-4ffc-97db-ca6697d9748a_large Spikes, resembling the skin of a dragon, are also meant ward off evil, keeping the bearer of this bracelet and her family safe from harm.  While the shamanic spirit element is 100% Hmong, the dragon design is an influence from Imperial China, who invaded Hmong lands during the Qing dynasty.pro_1_large

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The folklore behind these ornaments are beautifully captivating.  Their use of silver continues to dazzle no matter the antiquity, and we just can’t get enough!

» SÜPPØRT NÊPÄL «

May 5, 2015

supportNepal_childofwild

We are incredibly heartbroken by the devastation due to Nepal’s recent earthquake. We work closely with talented Nepalese artists and will continue our support. We are donating 100% of proceeds from purchases of these beautiful handmade necklaces to charities aiding in disaster relief in Nepal.

» TO PURCHASE NECKLACES CLICK HERE

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