Sunday, May 13, 2012

Collecting Cowries.

Collecting Cowries.
 Cyprea Guttala Surinensis....what a mouthful for a beautiful little shell! Despite this, there is even more to tell about this favourite little shell of mine.
Some of the cowries I picked up.

 I invite you to share a few interesting facts about this darling little shell which hides amongst the lesser shells and takes a skilled eye to find. The word porcelain is derived from the Italian word porcellan which is the Italian word for Cowrie because of the translucent shine many have. Originally in Africa and Asia shells were used as currency and the Chinese pictograph used for money, is the shape of a cowrie shell!! Excavators have found brass and silver cowries in China. Chieftains in Fiji drill holes into them and wear them as a badge of rank, to show how important they are. For some they are seen as symbols of fertility and some tribes weave them into the young bride's hair to increase her fertility. Many young people love wearing cowries as jewelry, especially the surfers round here.
Tiger Cowrie.

 My Grandmother used the very large "Cyprae Tigris" a tiger cowrie for inserting into socks when doing the darning!! ( I wonder if they would help with quilting?)

 Here in Sri Lanka, the cowries are used in board games and are called Pachis. Our man who runs this place, gave us a lesson on how to play this game....I can't wait to teach my grandchildren. Spiritually, according to African legend, if you are attracted to Cowrie shells, you could be family to the Ocean Spirit of wealth and earth. It represents fertility, prosperity and love. Putting one under your pillow every night is a very good idea all round.

 One of my best things to do is to spend hours searching for cowries. When I see the them "heads" up and shining as the water washes off them, I get such a kick out of picking them up and putting them in my collection.  If it is "smiles" up. I am equally delighted. Maybe I am so blessed, as I have bottles of these beautiful shells collected from many different beaches.
 Anyone needing a little, slip a cowrie under your pillow tonight. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
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    We will also be happy to cooperate with your blog such as adding its link to our site.
    All the best,