Thinking small: beads

Some days, when the socio-political world is too hard to take, I turn to nature. But when there are no flowers, no glorious moonsets, no stormy winds, I retreat into the miniature world of beads. Today, I set up the lightbox under the camera and picked out three kinds of translucent beads to look at. […]

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Afghanistan: coins on a shoestring

The impulse to beautify ourselves is innate to humans. As soon as we figured out how to drill holes in shells and twist plant fiber into string, we began wearing necklaces. And clever as we are, we also began repurposing everyday items into adornment. Here’s an example. This 20″ necklace from Afghanistan was constructed on […]

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Enigma 137: circle-dot bones

I have these bone beads. When I hold them, the bones make a sensuous clacking sound. Against a strong light, they are translucent. Each is inscribed with lines and circle-dot motifs, front and back. They remind me of some kind of ancient dominoes, but are more likely shamanic — meant for divination or for healing. […]

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