There are many fascinating things about the world we live in and all of us become fascinated with one aspect of it or another. One of my fascinations has been ancient civilizations such as the Egyptian and Mayan civilizations. So, like many others, I wanted to create a piece of jewelry to express this part of myself. Jewelry can tell a story, express love, a fascination, a membership, or whatever you want. Jewelry is an expression of yourself.
As you may know, the Mayans were a great civilization in central America centered around the Yucatan peninsula. There were other great civilizations in the Americas before Columbus (pre-Columbian), notably the Incas and the Aztecs, but the Mayans were special. They had the only fully developed language among the pre-Columbian civilizations, and it was known for its art, architecture and astronomical systems. The Mayans never really disappeared, but they faded away. Their civilization withered and the remaining Mayans blended into the civilizations that dominated later. However, what they left behind from the height of their civilization is remarkable.
The most interesting part of the Mayan civilization to me and most other people is the Mayan system of astronomy and the Mayan calendar. The Mayan calendar not just an ordinary calendar. It is an amazing expression of an entire civilization. The Mayan calendar is actually quite complex. It has three overlapping system of telling time.It was more accurate than the European calendars at the time and expressed their incredible knowledge of math and astrology. The Mayan calendar also has its own mystique and mystery. According to some, it prophecies the end of the world on December 21, 2012, but others dispute this theory. What do I think? You’ll probably have to go to work, do laundry, pay taxes and all that jazz in 2013.
If you want to learn more about the end of the world as we know it, Google “Mesoamerican Long Count calendar” for all the juicy facts and fiction. At any rate it will be the end of the 13th cycle of time and the beginning of the 14th.
Another thing about the calendar was that it lended itself well to jewelry. It is shaped like a medallion and can be used in a number of different applications, such as bracelets and earrings. I chose to create a bracelet using the Mayan calendar.
The bangle was built with 18kt gold and sterling silver with the Mayan calendar as the centerpiece. Each side has a set of stairs leading up to the calendar with the remainder of the bangle showing inspirations of H R Geiger, one of my Favorite artists. It fit me in a lot of different ways. It was beautiful, and now I wear it every day.
There are so many cool things you can do when you start to be creative with your own jewelry design. As I was writing this post, I realized that you could do a birthday piece with the date written in Mayan hieroglyphs. What you can do is really endless once you start to think about it. This page on Wikipedia has an image of what such a medallion could look like. A simple idea, a birthday, with a really cool implementation, written in Mayan hieroglyphs!
This is what i want you to take away. Custom jewelry can express so much of you that you really should do it. You should think about at least once. If can be fun. It can be a way to tell your story. And when it’s all said and done, jewelry keeps it value or even increases its value. In my book that is a win win win.