Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Beauty of Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan

by Abdul Wardak
Lapis lazuli has had a long, long history of being one of the most sought after stones in Central Asia.  In the Middle Ages, it was ground up and used as a pigment to paint on illuminated manuscripts.  In Ancient Egypt it was known as the "Blue Gold".  Cleopatra used it as make-up and it has been found in archeological sites as paint applied to walls.
Today, lapis is only found naturally in Afghanistan and Chile.  If you hear about a tiny little mine somewhere with a lapis vein, let us know.  We would love to hear about it!

Sturee Tribal Village carries a huge selection of lapis beads, all natural, hand carved and polished in various sheens.  Leather is often used as a finishing tool on these pieces.

 Hand carved lapis lazuli beads available at 
Sturee Tribal Village.

In the mid-1980's, lapis lazuli was over-mined in Afghanistan to generate income to the locals.  It was also used to finance the resistance against the Soviet Union's occupation. Lapis has also been a favorite stone used by tribal jewelers for centuries.  Sturee Tribal Village has a great selection of pendants, cuffs, rings and earrings, both old and new, representing many of the traditions of Central Asia.

 Tribal Pendants at Sturee Tribal Village

Visit or call us for more information on our selection of lapis lazuli beads and jewelry.

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