Cowrie Shell earrings. Sterling silver dangles with natural Cowrie shells.
Sterling silver dangles with natural Cowrie shells.
From Marta Collection.
These pieces are a one-of-a-kind handmade earrings.
Shell Size: 22 x 16mm.
Earrings size: 35mm long.
Weight: 2gr each.
The Cowrie shell was one of the most successful and universal forms of currency in the world.The Cowrie’s elegant shape represents the female form, its rounded top reminiscent of a pregnant woman’s belly. Thus it is a symbol of fertility. The slit on the underside of the shell can look like a black pupil against the pearly white surface, which is why it is often used to ward against the evil eye.
Many communities across western Africa and beyond use these shells as divination tools. The fortune-teller throws or simply drops the Cowries onto a typically circular surface, and interprets their positions to tell the future. The number of shells used depends on each diviner and the tradition they come from.
Although the cowrie, as currency, lies in West Africa’s past, its symbolic value endures. As the Hausa say: “Whoever is patient with a Cowrie shell will one day have thousands of them”.
I have always felt attracted to the sea, it makes me feel happiness, admiration, fascination, respect and a mixture of fear and deep calm. I don’t know if this attraction is due to the child memories I have there or that my mind needs these feelings that it transmits to me... the movement of the waves, the smell of salt, the breeze on the skin and walkings along the beach early in the morning, with your feet under crystalline water with small fishes swiming between your legs while you pick up shells and sea snails... This collection is one of the most personal I've done and for this reason it's called Marta.
Part of the benefits of this Marta Collection will go to Cram, a foundation for the conservation and recovery of marine animals, that since 1994 have been working to protect the marine environment and all species that live in the Mediterranean.