Lebanon, Kinship Stories, Hmong Silver Collar
Around 29 cms to the end of the tassels
Name: Hmong Silver Collar
Collection: Celebrating Art and Supporting Artisanship
Cultures: Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, India
This handmade tribal art necklace comprises a variety of cultures and carries, between its beads & threads, historical evidence of a world on the verge of extinction.
The base is a sterling silver collar from the Flower Hmong of Vietnam. The country boasts 54 tribes across its territories, each with a distinct dress code. This collar in particular once belonged to a Flower Hmong woman, who wore it especially during important ceremonies.
Dangling from the silver base are two strings of aquamarine beads from India. Soothing, and soul cleansing, aquamarine was traditionally conceived as the treasure of mermaids, and was used as a protective stone by sailors. Alternating with these beautiful blue beads are are seed beads coming from an Indian Hindu rosary, known as japamala, and made with lotus seeds.
The tassels at the ends of the necklace are quite precious. They come from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan (the ones with the knots) and are around 60-80 years old. These tassels were once attached to old tapestry (short) as well as the braids of women (long), mostly as decoration but also to show off the family’s riches. The Turkoman tassels, in particular, boast a museum quality. They belong to a generation of tassels on the verge of extinction. I myself find it increasingly difficult to locate tassels of such value, combining superior materials, hand skill and history.
The crochet flowers are Turkish oyas, or handmade lace flowers from the region of Anatolia. Anatolian women are well-known for their beautiful oyas, often adorning the rims of scarves and clothes in the country.
In a world of technology, globalization, and consumerism, this necklace stands as a call for authenticity, uniqueness, distinction and culture. This necklace is for you, the woman who can communicate the kinship stories, our ancestor’s stories, but also the woman who appreciates beauty and cherishes her originality. It is entirely handmade and is a one-of-a-kind piece, just like you.