THE ESSENCE OF COWRY SHELLS
Ever since memory I have always been fascinated with all things associated with the sea. Sea horses, mermaids, dolphins and of course seafood. There are many things I love about the sea but truly one of the most fascinating things about the sea I have always been intrigued with is the cowry shell. Not only is the cowrie shell very versatile but also has a very long and rich history throughout many cultures and basically the entire world. Cowry Shells have been known to be used for an array of purposes such as currency, divination purposes, adorning hair, clothing and of course my favorite, jewelry.
Cowry shells at one point was the main currency throughout the entire world. Throughout Africa, Asia, to the natives in the Americas cowry shells served it’s purpose to promote commerce for quite a long time and everyone has become familiar with cowrie shells in one form or the other.
Cowrie shells have also been used extensively throughout history for many esoteric and spiritual purposes. In many parts of the world throughout ancient Egypt, Polynesia, Africa, the Americas, to India and Europe the cowrie shell was considered to be very sacred and known to protect against the evil eye, negative influences as well as represent renewal, and the feminine energy. Many considered it to be charms for fertility and as healing amulets as well.
“Its name derived from Kauri, who was the same of Kali Cunti Yoni of the Universe, the cowrie shell everywhere represented the divine vulva and usually conveyed the idea of rebirth.” -Barbara G. Walker
Cowry shells can be a great addition to any wardrobe or jewelry piece and has even been seen on the runway, when John Galliano designed for Christian Dior, a beautiful collection for spring of 2009. According to Galliano he was inspired by his memories and trips throughout Africa in which he managed to turn into gorgeous and everlasting pieces.
I personally own many cowrie shell pieces from belts, necklaces and of course earrings I design and make myself. One of my favorite cowrie pieces is this H&M cowry belt I bought 6 years ago for 12 bucks. It still looks the same and makes any outfit stand out.
Cowry shells and I have been very creative for quite sometime, recently my creative juices have been flowing and I have gotten back into more creations for this coming summer. I will soon be posting a giveaway including a pair of earrings and some goodies to 3 Lucky winners! So stay tuned so you can see how creative cowrie shells and I can be.
Overall the Cowrie is a beautiful and natural element with many connections and meaning to many around the world. You can basically use cowries for anything, you can glue them on, sew them on or simply have them around since they are so interesting to look at and versatile to decorate with.