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.
Songs 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’.
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.
Our Healing Spirit Hill tribe necklace:
Handmade 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.
Our Fisherman’s Kiss cuff:
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.
Our Fire of Peace Cuff, Dragon Warrior Arm Cuff, & Dragon’s Fire Silver Cuff:
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.
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!