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jade newThis is a lovely hand-carved pendant of natural Nephrite Jade from New Zealand. Maori designs carved in jade are steeped in religious and spiritual belief. They tell stories of ancestors long lost, depict spirits from the heavens, earth, and underworld, show historical lineage and paint images of the natural world that surround and surrounded them. They are no doubt beautiful, but they’re more than a form of art. For Maori they create a strong connection with their ancestors and the natural world they live in. It was believed by Maori that as a carving was worn against the skin it absorbed some of that person's essence. As carvings were passed down through the family they absorbed essence from each family member, creating a direct ancestral connection through the necklace itself. This is one reason why Maori design is so special, it is more than just an art form.

This special piece measures approx. 70 mm long (approx.. 2 3/4") x approx. 35 mm. (just shy of 1 1/2") at its widest point. Thickness is approx. 3 mm. Hole at top for hanging is approx. 2 1/2 mm. wide.

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I loved the words Dawn Wink used in her recent article on culture and immigration -- and her beautiful use of turquoise as a metaphor:

Turquoise—the stone carried for centuries along the north-south corridor connecting what is now southern Mexico with the southwest United States. The stone’s formation occurs exclusively in arid areas. Volcanic disturbances are necessary to make the fissures in the rocks where water must run through copper, aluminum, phosphates, and iron to create veins of turquoise throughout the surrounding rocks. These veins thread the body of our land, all interconnected as our physical body. These veins know no borders.

Across time and cultures, people cherish turquoise. The Zuni people associate turquoise with supreme life-giving power. Blue turquoise is associated with Father Sky and green turquoise with Mother Earth. Powdered turquoise accompanies prayer. The Diné or Navajo hold turquoise as one of the four sacred stones (abalone, white shell, turquoise, and black jet): Hunters carried turquoise in their hunts, and warriors carried turquoise to ensure victory and a safe return. A bead of turquoise fastened to a lock of hair is worn as protection from lightning and snakebite. For the Pueblo people, turquoise is the Sky Stone, associated with good fortune and protection for the wearer. One can see turquoise-colored doors across the Southwest, coming originally from the Moors, through Spain, as protection from evil entering the home.

I'll be adding a lovely turquoise cabochon from the Old Man Mine soon - and you'll see how very special this stone is.  Thank you Dawn, for connecting  us to its spirit through this beautiful history!

 

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