Hand-strung black and white spotted beans, with a variation of small, brown and black seed, are hand crafted by artisans from Joyeria Semilla in Colombia. These seeds and the various other seeds used for jewelry making (wairuru, chocho, china wairuru and the orkko wairuru) are said to be essential ingredients for traditional medicines and magical practices in ancient Colombian lore.
Made by the Joyeria Semilla fair trade workshop in the Andean town of Villa de Leyva, Colombia. The workshop primarily employs socially and economically disadvantaged youths, single mothers, and people with disabilities in the area. (See the Artisan Story tab above for the full story.)
Strung on sturdy elastic, so one size fits all. A unique and eco-chic look!
About 1 1/4" wide and 2" interior diameter.
Joyeria Semilla artisan creating seed jewelry.
Joyeria Semilla, meaning Seed Jewelry, is a small fair-trade workshop in the Andean town of Villa de Leyva, Colombia. Girasol Taborda, a local artisan and social entrepreneur, started the workshop in the mid-1990s.
Joyeria Semilla’s objective is three-fold: to create new jobs, revive Colombia's handicrafts sector, and to motivate locals to better manage their natural resources. The workshop primarily employs socially and economically disadvantaged youths, single mothers, and people with disabilities in the area. Almost all the artisans begin without any previous training or work experience. The company offers free training in product design, technical training, and marketing to new members. Joyeria Semilla has trained them in the craft of jewelry-making.
Joyeria Semilla jewelry is unique because it uses natural plant seeds. These plants are indigenous to the region and hence, have a unique selling point. Joyeria Semilla takes special care to purchase seeds from sources where plants and trees have little commercial value. Since Joyeria Semilla has assigned a price tag to these underappreciated plants, locals have begun to reassess their value and protect the plants and their habitat as a renewable resource. The seeds that are mainly used for the production of jewelry include Chocho, Wairuru, China wairuru, and the Orkko wairuru. These seeds are said to be essential ingredients for traditional medicines and magical practices since ancient times.
This jewelry craft has helped the artisans at Joyeria Semilla to earn a better income and work in a safe environment. These artisans are skilled in using locally available seeds to make beautiful and exclusive jewelry. The economic benefits from this trade have helped the artisans provide better living conditions and basic amenities such as food, shelter, education and health care for their families.