This beautiful larimar pendant recently arrived from our studio in India. Fifteen years ago we bought fifty pounds of rough larimar from a friend in Vermont. He had brought it from his homeland; the Dominican Republic. This was one of the first batches of stones we had custom cut and polished for our own designs. And this is one of the finest stones to emerge from that batch. Larimar is very rare as it is only found on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic; a region that is fairly inaccessible. Locals thought the stone came from the sea and it wasn’t until 1974 that a Peace Corps volunteer and his local friend discovered that it was in fact a stone and it began to be mined. The name larimar was given based on the local man’s daughter LARissa in combination with MAR the Spanish word for sea. The pendant is accented with star rubies along the side from Mysore, India.
The Flower of Life is considered by some to be a symbol of sacred geometry and to contain ancient, spiritual values depicting the fundamental forms of space and time. Within its form are contained the structures of many other sacred symbols including the Seed of Life, the Vesica Picsis, the Tripod of Life, the Egg of Life, the Fruit of Life, the Tree of Life. Leonardo da Vinci studied the Flower of Life’s form and its mathematical properties. He drew the Flower of Life itself, as well as various components such as the Seed of Life. In his artwork, he drew Platonic solids, a sphere and a torus, and also used the golden ratio of phi, all of which may be derived from the Flower of Life design.
The basic symmetry of the Flower of is also the basic shape of a snowflake, i.e. the geometrical structure of crystallized water is also the basic structure of the Flower of
Life. Therefore, an additional aspect to the symbolism of the Flower is to be found in the fact that life originally evolved in water, and all life on Earth requires water as the essential compound of life.
The Flower of Life can be found in the temples, art, and manuscripts of cultures from all over the world, and within a multitude of spiritual traditions. Some of the locations in which the Flower of Life symbol has been sighted are India, Egypt, Great Britain, North and South America, and Japan.
The seeds of Adivasi were planted in 1989 when I traveled to India for the first time with the School for International Training’s Semester Abroad Program. We traveled in northern India but spent most of our time in the town of Udaipur, Rajasthan. I was immediately drawn to the Indian culture. I was thrilled by the beautiful and colorful chaos of it and also intrigued by the deep peace I found within this ancient culture. Living in Udaipur was a bit like stepping back in time. The streets were filled with bicycles rather than cars. Televisions and telephones were a rarity. Vegetable carts and bangle sellers roamed the neighborhoods. Neighbors spent time together and people slept and awoke with the sun.
Two years later I returned; a recent graduate from the University of Vermont’s Environmental Studies program. I was ready to “save the world” and began working for a reforestation project with a non-governmental organization based in Udaipur. Our job was to “teach” the locals not to cut their forests while they were being replanted. The fact of the matter was that people had been living harmoniously with their environment until industries harvested their trees for cricket bats. They knew each tree; their medicinal properties and how to care for them. They had been living in a delicate balance with their harsh environment for multiple generations. I did not have anything to teach them.
Quickly I became disillusioned as I saw organizations fighting over villages, forming alliances with people that disrupted the local form of governance, even building helicopter pads in remote villages to take their donors on tours. I wanted to find a way that I could make a difference in a respectful way. It was at this time that I met Shram. He had a deep understanding and respect for the tribal communities; having been raised by a mother who was an incredibly devoted and powerful social worker in the villages. We shared our frustrations and agreed on the importance of helping tribal villages achieve financial viability and stability. This allows communities to develop in ways that best suit their circumstances and eases the pressures of migration to larger cities in search of work.
For twenty years we have worked with families of traditional artisans, women’s cooperatives and those supplementing their incomes through cottage industry. We have developed long lasting and equitable relationships that continue today.