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