You know how much I love custom jewellery projects. It allows me to unleash creativity, but also to learn new things I may have not come across otherwise. It is an enriching experience for me as a designer and also an opportunity to tell a story through my creations that feels very special to someone.
In July I received a custom order for a duo bracelets for Him and for Her. My client is very keen on spiritual jewellery and she wanted to surprise her spouse with a gift that incorporates his culture for their 10th year anniversary.
The Water Goddess
The Yoruba are one of the many West African tribes with ancient culture, customs and spiritual teachings. They also have quite an enchanting mythology. Before Christianity became one of the leading religions in Africa, different pagan gods were widely worshiped and some communities still perform rituals to honour them till today. So, the Yoruba water goddess is called Yemoja. She is believed to be the mother of all orishas (supernatural beings or spirits), often depicted as a mermaid. Yemoja is known as the giver of life and a nurturer. She protects pregnant women and loves children. Her fame and followers spread beyond Africa. She is worshipped in the Caribbean, as well as Brazil and several other Latin American countries. In the Spanish-speaking world, however, he is known as Yemaya.
Yemoja's symbols are shells, fish and river stones. Her crystals are lapis lazuli, turquoise, clear quartz and pearls. Women often wear waist beads, necklaces or bracelets featuring those crystals to honour her and ask for her protection. However, any spiritual piece of jewellery that is used to call on to Yemoja must follow a specific pattern - 7 blue beads and then 7 white/clear beads. This is repeated for as many times as needed.
The Volcano God
Yemoja's husband was Aganju. According to the Yoruba mythology, he is the god of the volcanos. He possesses extreme physical strength and is the cultivator of civilisations. In Cuba he is widely celebrated as the God who helped the enslaved carry their burden and eventually delivered them out of bondage. He is the one who can bring drastic change, just like fire.
Aganju's symbols are, of course, the sun and volcanos. His crystals are lava stones, jasper and citrine. Prayer beads or jewellery designed to honour him also follow a specific pattern. It is a bit more complicated than Jemoja's and require a variety of crystals. It goes like this 2 brown beads, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 red, 2 brown and then repeated as many times as needed.
For the creation of the "For Her" bracelet I used 7 lapis lazuli beads and 14 clear quartz stones, split by a heart-shaped single lapis lazuli to follow Yemoja's pattern. The "For Him" bracelet featured 8 tiger eye beads, 6 red jasper, 6 citrine and 3 lapis lazuli beads.
Do you like the end result?