We are finally going to introduce Chaquira Beading and what better place to do it, than our first Newsletter, Mauricio is ready to launch this Native/Indigenous way of expression, its an art, an incredible patience, meditaion maybe!!

Chaquira Beading also known as (Native American Jewellery) although we all know it certainly as an ancient, beautiful shamanic art, the technique has also been used for hundred and thousands of years in Africa too.

In 2004, archaeologists with the Blombos Cave Project found small shells strung together in a South African cave and dated them as more than 75,000 years old. At one point, African beads were used as currency. In the 18th and 19th centuries, millions of colored shell beads were shipped from European countries to Africa in exchange for slaves.

The Zulu people of South Africa developed a code for the size and colors of their beads. Large and colorful beads symbolize wealth and social status. Blue beads are thought to enhance fertility. Red beads are reserved for ceremonies like tribal festivals, funerals, weddings & harvest dances. Black implies age and wisdom. Yellow means high rank, and gold indicates a long life. Beads can also convey identity and cultural significance - for example, if a woman is married or a man is a warrior or an elder. Beads also signify a person's rank.

We haven't had the pleasure to travel Africa yet !!! I say Yet!! as it is a request, we would love too travel Africa, be students of more culture & Elders stories.

The unifying factor of the work is the colorful decoration using symbols and designs which date back centuries.

Archeologists literally have a field day when they find beads in an excavation.  Beads have stood the test of time, in some cases for thousands of years.  There is evidence that the descendants of Native Americans in prehistoric times used beads as adornment in jewelry as well as a way to trade. How these beads were crafted by hand said a lot about the methods and culture of the people of the time.

More certain is the fact that beads have a history with the Native American people.  From the materials they used to how the beads were incorporated in their every day lives, they tell a story.  In fact, some tribes have “story bead” necklaces where symbols and figures were carved into flat pieces of turquoise or some other type of stone and strung with other beads.  Mothers then used the necklaces to illustrate stories handed down from generation to generation. Wood and bone have been used quite a bit in making beads. The materials were sturdy, lasted a long time and easily fashioned and carved.

In some tribes, fashioning the beads was a sacred task.  In others, only the women were allowed to create the beads. Regardless of who could or could not make the beads, there were a variety of processes that could be used.  Most often, it was an old-fashioned stone drill bit pumped by hand or even an awl that created the hole in the bead so that it could be strung.

Mauricio learnt this craft with a community of indigenous families in Sibundoy, Putumayo, Colombia. Here he has been many a time and now some families are like his own. Mauricio took me there for a while a few years back, i had a wonderful, magical time. Dancing, singing, eating and drinking Chicha,  i was lucky enough to be there festival time... and it goes on for weeks....   (In Colombia, regional chicha ingredients include maize, yuca, quinoa, pineapple, rice, potatoes, and saliva. Some recipes include cannabis, coca leaf, or other traditional entheogens, such as chichaja. During celebrations, people drink refreshing and nutritious preparations of chicha.
In Colombia, preparation of creative chicha recipes is considered an art. A person who makes good chicha is respected, but it is usually served only to family and friends because of cases of prohibition, difficulty in storing and transporting it, and prejudice against indigenous traditions. While primarily consumed in rural areas, some bars and restaurants in Bogotá and other Andean cities serve chicha. Chicha is home-brewed in some countercultural circles.

Carnival in the Sibundoy Valley of Colombia is a special event that enables people to experience and affirm their membership in the indigenous communities.  The Sibundoy Valley is home to two indigenous communities, the Kamsá.

"The earth was dark, and it was already populated with all beings including men, but they lacked intelligence and wandered blindly looking for food. Performing this task they encountered yagé rattan, splitting it down the middle, they took and saw in the sky: Yajé!! Yajé had penetrated a huge flower to be fertilized which became the sun, the sun shone down on the men of the sun, each playing a disntint melody with their flutes and drums, and every melody became a different color, when they came back to the land each deposited and scattered light and color in every being, and when the world was enlightened, all that symphony of colors and music brought forth the understanding among men, creating intelligence and language. "


"The Yage/Ayahuasca is a force that has power, will and knowledge, with it you can go to the stars, enter the plants in the mountains, in the Espirit or other people, know your desire to do good or wrong, you can know the future, see and cure diseases. "

Yagé/Ayauasca is the cornerstone of his worldview and the dominant figure of Taita is in handling. Through them the earthly and spiritual world is revealed, the destination is known, the passage of the soul of a deceased person is allowed to another world, the evils are prevented, cured diseases, etc..
I do feel i have to share about Pablo Amaringo, i had the pleasure to meet him, and a friend did some classes with him a while before he died, i actually didnt find out till i returned 4-5 years later that he died... His paintings are magical, incredible.. i did see quite a few of the originals, i was zoned in on each one of them, so much to see on one canvas.

"My visions helped me understand the value of human beings, animals, the plants themselves, and many other things. The plants taught me the function they play in life, and the holistic meaning of all life. We all should give special attention and deference to Mother Nature. She deserves our love. And we should also show a healthy respect for her power!
Plants are essential in many ways: they give life to all beings on Earth by producing oxygen, which we need to be active; they create the enormous greenhouse that gives board and lodging to diverse but interrelated guests; they are teachers who show us the holisticimportance of conserving life in its due form and necessary conditions.Most of the designs of the Chaquira jewellery are traditionally designed through the visions of Ayahausca/Yagé."  Pablo Amaringo

Mauricio's respect for mother earth goes without a doubt, being brought up not to far from Putumayo his natural connection to Pacha Mama is to me complete, to him still a journey... I am sure the difference is being brought up in the City, I couldnt of asked for a better journey to teach me the power, magnificance, and magic of her,  Mother Earth really is our life,  how much she gives us, provides for us, i only feel i want to do and be part of, the best i can.  Our ancestors are our wisdom.  We with open eyes and open hearts continue to be the journey xx

Making Chaquira beaded Jewellery is time consuming, but it is injoyable and i think it is another Art that once you start and flow with it, it becomes a meditation aswell.

Enjoy xxxx

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