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Sun & Sea Blessing Beads by Story and Myth: A Dive into Jamaica’s History & Symbolism

When we delve into any creation by Story & Myth, we embark on a journey through Jamaican history – a history not confined to the country’s borders, but one that encompasses the collective experiences of people who arrived in Jamaica. It’s a celebration of diverse cultures, including African, Asian, and Indigenous traditions, while also acknowledging the influence of European colonizers. The Sun & Sea Blessing Beads, a custom creation in collaboration with About Her Culture, are deeply rooted in this rich and layered lore.

Inspired by the Yoruba Creation Story

At the heart of the Sun & Sea Blessing Beads lies a profound connection to the Yoruba creation story, a pivotal narrative in West African spirituality. These beads pay homage to the Yoruba orisha, Ọbatala, a significant West African spirit, who took upon himself the divine task of creating land and humanity. In his creative journey, Ọbatala employed a spiral-shaped shell, a black cat, a white hen, a palm nut, and a long gold chain.

The spiral shell used in these beads is symbolic of the cycle of life – a representation of the Yoruba creation story where Ọbatala shaped the world from the sands within this shell. The story continues as the hen helped mold the land, and the palm nut grew into the first tree, spreading vegetation across the Earth. In his quest for companionship, Ọbatala created human beings in his image.

Kristie Stephenson, the founder and chief creative behind Story & Myth, has assembled a team of artisans and craftspeople who, like Ọbatala’s creations, possess unique qualities. Many of these talented individuals have disabilities but have embraced their craft with unparalleled dedication and efficiency. They have become the backbone of Story & Myth, contributing their expertise and insights to the design process.

The starfish charm adorning the necklace reflects the age-old adage, “As above, so below.” It draws a connection between heavenly bodies and earthly reflections. Additionally, starfish possess the remarkable ability to regenerate, growing new limbs if injured—a message of resilience and rebirth. The stars above unite us, transcending geographical boundaries.

Job’s Tears: A Thread of Heritage

The body of the necklace is strung together with seeds known as Job’s Tears, a beloved medium in Story & Myth’s creations. These beads serve as a vital link to Jamaica’s past and hold personal significance for Kristie Stephenson. They evoke memories of watching Miss Lou, a beloved Jamaican cultural icon, tell stories on television while adorned in similar beads. These beads pay homage to ancestors, from the first people to the maroons to Miss Lou herself.

The Sun & Sea Blessing Beads are not merely jewelry; they are a reflection of Jamaican history, culture, and the indomitable spirit of Story & Myth. Through these beads, we connect with the Yoruba creation story, honor diversity and inclusivity, and celebrate the enduring legacy of Jamaica’s past and its bright future. Each bead tells a story, and together, they weave a narrative of resilience, rebirth, and the profound beauty of our shared humanity.

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