In traditional Buddhist and Hindu cultures, the symmetrical patterns of a mandala are often used as a map to an imaginary place during meditation. Our sterling silver mandala pendant is hand-tooled by indigenous Newar artisans in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley, and set with a garnet cabochon at its center. It is a striking conversation piece that can be appreciated for its spiritual symbolism as well as its remarkable craftsmanship.
Adjustable from 16'' to 20'' long
The Newar people are the indigenous, mostly Hindu people of Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. Newar maintain a creative and diversified culture where a family's historical profession is identified by their last name. For example, Chitrakars were once the painters and Shakyas the sculptors. Once this surname distinction took the form of a caste system, but such hierarchy is now considered taboo, and a Newar's last name no longer strictly determines his or her future or place in society. Newar artists and architects are believed to have originated the traditional Asian pagoda form, and their thanka paintings (used in worship) and metal crafts have been much appreciated for centuries.
While many Newar craftsmen work at home, these delicate mandala earrings are made in a collaborative studio (which also provides housing for those who need it, as well as family health care). Starting with a sterling silver disk, each earring and pendant is hand shaped and carved by a master craftsman using an array of jewelry tools. The open spaces are first cut away by a process known as airy: the mandala pattern is first laid onto the silver disk using a special powder. Then, after carefully drilling a small hole to start, a narrow cutting wire is inserted and mounted to a jewelry saw; and the craftsman proceeds to carefully saw away the areas that are to be open. Final details are carved into the face of the mandala with a small hammer and shaping tools, and finally, a garnet cabochon is mounted at the center.
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