Chrysalis Tribal Jewelry

Rustic Tribal Primitive

Saturday, September 26, 2015

African Tribal Jewelry

The word "tribal" has become so common in jewelry that it has lost some of it's meaning, or at least changed its meaning. I think many jewelry designers use the word "tribal" in their descriptions because it is a good buzz word, more than because it is an accurate description of what they have created. The word has come to mean a free spirit, rather than a member of a tribe. Either way, I love tribal style jewelry and clothing and will never outgrow it. When I create a tribal jewelry design, I do it with my own contemporary spin while respecting the traditional approach of native Africans.

This collection happens to be African style tribal jewelry. With the recent availability of more authentic African beads, I cannot resist making chunky tribal jewelry pieces. Most of the beads I use are handmade in Mali, Kenya and Ghana. Selling these beads provides income for families in poor and war torn regions of Africa, another motivation for me to continue exploring new types of clay, metal and glass beads in the future.

The brass turtle pendant on the right, is an adinkra symbol used by the Asante people in Ghana. The Asante are accomplished weavers and the adrinka symbols are used in their hand woven textiles

The necklace on the left is dyed oxbone, with Masai white glass beads and large Mali clay spindles.

The next collection I have in the works features authentic Berber components from northern regions of Africa, particularly from Morocco. I spend numerous hours finding sources for the best quality, yet still affordable, beads and focal pieces. I can assure you that you won't be disappointed with the Tuareg pieces I am planning, and they will be ready in time for holiday gift buying too.

Gloria Ewing

Chrysalis Tribal Jewelry
Chrysalis Too on Etsy