Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Running With The Tribe

Dini Bruinsma is hosting a jewlery challenge on my favorite bead forum: Bead Soup Cafe. The inspiration photograph was taken from her trip to Ethiopia a few years ago, featuring the Turmi people/region.

Photo by Dini Bruinsma

HISTORY LESSON TIME!!!  (I know you're excited)...

Turmi is a market town in southwestern Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region.  Its home to many of the Hamer people, Turmi also has a weekly market. One product available at this market is incised gourds, used by local women as shopping baskets. Turmi is also notable for its traditional dances and the Jumping of the Bulls.

The people of Turmi appear full of character and steeped in tradition...and I love the jewelry influence!

Photo Credit:  TrekEarth

I have a penchant for tribal jewelry...almost an absurd fascination, actually.  The significance, craftmanship, and presence of tribal wares keeps my muse entertained for hours!

I hoard collect African trade beads, vintage tribal amulets, beads, pendants, and other baubles from the region.  They usually just lay in their respective containers for me to enjoy on a whim, eye candy if you will.  There's something magical about those boxes that makes me want to keep them all to myself.

As usual, I went large with my piece.  While it's approximately the size of a salad plate, I already am in love with it!

My own polymer clay hollow "horn" and squished disc beads, with lots of hemp, green adventurine, red sponge coral, collected shell, and a horn pendant.

Yep...its definitely a wall hanging statement piece.

I can't wait to see everyone else's interpretations and creations!  By all means head on over to the Bead Soup Cafe and take a peek!


  1. That's an incredible piece, love the polymer horn you made.and the shot of red from the coral.

  2. I absolutely love this piece...I would really like to try a smaller scale version of the hemp/coral knotted section of this necklace - that part really draws me. Thanks for sharing your work of art!