Tairona bullet beads necklace


New product

Rare necklace with carnelian stone "bullet" beads.
Hand-cut, and hand-drilled beads.

Price: € 1200,--   Reduced € 850,--

Length: 50 cm

Period: 1000 - 1300 AD
Origin: Colombia, Tairona

More details

  • The Tairona were masterfully adept at stone carving, and the beautiful beads that they created from carnelian, agate,jade, and quartz were utilized as a form of currency, traded far and wide throughout the Americas. Beads such as thesehave been found as far north as Mexico and as far south as Chile, and their value as trade goods is a testament to the labor intensive skill with which they were fashioned. Working without metal tools, Tairona stone workers created a grand variety of traditional shapes, ranging from perfectly tubular cylinders and perfectly formed spheres, to animal shapes and bullet-like pendants, called “balas” by the Colombian diggers, but rather more likely meant to simulate animal teeth when strung on a necklace. The “gusanos”, grub worms, are a common theme in the beads found in Tairona burials, and are thought to represent the natural elements of decomposition, the reality of what happens to a corpse that’s committed tothe soil. An offering to the earth mother, that she might welcome and protect the spirit of the deceased.