The Be:Leaf pendant, a vine within a leaf, represents strength and symbiosis. A vine is one of the strongest plants, thriving in the most challenging environments, the embodiment of adaptation. Vines curve toward the sunlight as they seek opportunities to grow.
The vine within a leaf speaks to the fine balance between living things- vines and trees can live either symbiotically, or compete for resources.
Wear this pendant as a reminder of balanced collaboration, that even reaching for the sky together must be done with intention, or give it as a gift of partnership, a reminder to be present to the shape of each interaction.
Hammered bronze, 1 1/2" long
The artisans responsible for these graceful metal works, like the Hindu Goddess Kali, channel both destruction and creation, skillfully molding bomb shells into wearable art, symbols of the resilience of the human spirit.
The shop where they are created is located in an underprivileged rural community approximately thirty minutes from Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capitol. Revenue from sales allows artisans to develop skills or additional training to make jewelry from one of the most plentiful scrap resources available in the area- recycled bomb shells and bullets left over from the dark Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia in which a third of the population was killed.
Significantly, funds from the works can also go to support higher education of artisans. This is important because during the Khmer Rouge, those who had college degrees or special training were singled out to be put to death, thus reviving education is still a large part of re-invigorating and providing opportunities in the nation.
Thus with the support of NGO Craftworks, the artisans now generate much needed income that provides their families and their communities the chance at a better future. More information on Cambodia's rich culture, history, and the organization is available here, and more information on the importance of buying Fair Trade can be found here.