Featured bead: rudraksha

October 7, 2009

Get to know a multi-faceted, many-faced bead!

The telling of the beads

The telling of the beads

Reddish-brown rudraksha or rudraksh beads are the seed of the fruit of the rudraksha tree, from India.  (This tree, genus Elaeocarpus, also grows in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea, some Pacific Islands and Australia.)

Numbers are often mentioned in connection with these beads.  Rudraksha beads commonly have 5 mukhs or mukhis (faces of the bead), but you’ll find various numbers of faces on them.  There are 108 beads per strand traditionally in a Hindu mala or prayer garland.  Malas are used like rosaries in meditative prayer, as well as in traditional Indian medicine.

Closeup

Go ahead, stare 'em in the face 🙂

Rudraksha beads show a great deal of versatility.  Because they’re a natural material, they work extremely well with your more organic designs.  Because they’re exotic here in North America, they lend a funky, ethnic flair to jewelry.  And because of their texture, rudrakshas can pair up in interesting ways with the more unusual beads, like lava, wood or nut beads.

Ever handled rudraksh beads?  How would you describe them in 25 words or less?  Leave a comment!

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2 Comments

  • Reply maneki October 8, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Of cause I owns rudaksha beads (friends with my rosewood, sandalwood and tulsi beads). To be honest I mostly like rudaksha beads because of their use in malas — I love history, culture, amulets and talismans, mythology, symbolism etc so things like that make me buy beads I don’t normally use. But perhaps it just takes a little longer to learn how to love them? I sure know that I love and treasure some beads today that I didn’t like at all or didn’t know how to use in a flattering way when I was a newbie.

    I do see a potential in them. They are very tactile and with a texture that draws the eye to it. Bumpy, but not in an annoying way. They’re not rough against the skin or anything: my beads almost seem laquered (not from R&T). Colour and texture would be useful in organic and autumnal jewellery.

    “25 words or less.” uhm, almost… I might not be a talkative person, but I love to write. 😉

  • Reply Dave Robertson October 13, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Thanks for your thoughts as always, Maneki! You make a lot of good points in your comments.

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