Anthropology of Jewelry

Anthropology of Jewelry: A Look at Jewelry Worn in Tibetan Buddhist Sculpture

Anthropology of Jewelry: A Look at Jewelry Worn in Tibetan Buddhist Sculpture

Buddism in its early inception in India, was not particularly visually represented as much as it was practiced or taught. As it spread, the use of sculpture and idols, as well as art in various forms became central to its expression, especially in Tibet. Buddism is ultimately about death, birth, and what we do in…

The Met, Madonna, Jewelry, Fashion, and the Catholic Imagination.

This evening is the first Monday in May, when the Met Gala is held and the Costume institute opens one of the largest exhibits its ever devised, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. After reported multiple negotiations between Anna Wintour and the Vatican, the exhibit was deemed a go and as of today we will all…

Anthropology of Jewelry: Luxurious Jewelry in the Ancient Americas

“Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas” currently exhibited at the Met museum showcases the finely made gemstone and gold laden piece of the “ancient” Americas. It is a tantalizing presentation into the complex culture and skill level of the ancient Americas to say the least. As a doctor of anthropology, my focus…

Brazilian Jewelry History(Joias de Crioulas): The Balangandán and the Charms of Bahia

One of the things I loved about teaching anthropology at Scad, was exploring adornment and culture. The students loved learning more about how material culture gives us clues about our belief systems and diverse histories.  In this case, anthropology opened up a discourse concerning diversity, status, gender, and jewelry.  My training was in indigenous cultures…

Understanding, Wearing, and Appreciating Native American Jewelry

  Many people own some form of Native American Jewelry, and such pieces have been in fashion for years. However, there is sometimes more than meets the eye concerning how the many designs relate to the specific symbols, beliefs and aesthetics of particular tribes and artists. I hope to highlight how we should consider the…