Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Symbols of Devotion

The wedding ring was not always the emblem of choice to indicate marriage. Before the adoption of the wedding ring, necklaces were given as a symbol of devotion in a marriage proposal or ceremony. In cultures outside of the U.S., including India, Nepal and certain African countries, particular kinds of necklaces are still in use to tell the world that a woman is no longer single or available.

I liked the idea of a necklace to indicate that a woman was married, and began to think about what one might look like. Our Mirabelle necklace came to mind. I thought using a circle shape would echo the idea of a wedding ring. The combination of square faceted stones and round sculptural mandala, creates an intriguing path for the eye to dance over.

This necklace really does feel like an heirloom to me, something inherited from a great, great grandmother who came from across the ocean.

In researching the origin of necklaces as symbols of marriage, I came across this Apache Indian wedding poem written for the 1950 western film Broken Arrow and thought I would share it.

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

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