Hecho con Amor: Indigenous Crafted Spanish Colonial Engagement & Wedding Jewelry

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June 7, 2016

We spent last weekend perusing our wonderful collection of antique handcrafted Guatemalan Indigenous silver jewelry that we have collected over the years…our favorites are the gifts given to fiances and brides by their betrothed (and sometimes the grooms’ parents) at the time of engagement and during the marriage ceremony.  Each charming piece shares a beautiful story of love and tradition.  The designs and motifs were brought by the Spanish during the Colonial Period (1523-1821) are related to themes of love, fidelity, and fertility for the couple.  Several of these styles are still worn today by the Maya in the Highland region of Guatemala.  The Spanish jewelry of the 16th-18th century is a unique blend of tastes, materials, values, and beliefs of several different cultures  who inhabited the Iberian peninsula over hundreds of years: Romans, Moors, Jews, Christians

Visit our Etsy Shop to find these beautiful pieces for purchase: Coleccion Luna Vintage 

“Lagrima/Teardrop” pendant earrings are the style given to the fiance or wife that are symbols for protection of her body & signs of love…also to attract good luck with fertility for recently married couples. These pairs are especially charming featuring Spanish Colonial Coins, hearts, stones, trade beads, and filagree:

Beautiful Spanish Colonial Silver "Teardrop" Earrings
Beautiful Spanish Colonial Silver “Teardrop” Earrings

 

Stunning Antique Guatemalan Teardrop Earrings with Filagree from the Spanish Colonial Period
Stunning Antique Teardrop Earrings with Filagree from the Spanish Colonial Period

 

“Lunulas/Crescent Moon hoop earrings are associated with female fertility and are still very popular amongst the indigenous women in Guatemala. The moon is a universal symbol for fertility found globally in various cultures both past and present throughout the world.  In Guatemala, Ixchel is the Pre Columbian Mayan Goddess of the Moon who still holds signigance importance among the Maya today. The traditional Mayas generally assume the moon to be female, and the moon’s phases are accordingly conceived as the stages of a woman’s life. The Maya moon goddess wields great influence in many areas. Being in the image of a woman, she is associated with sexuality and procreation, fertility and growth, not only of human beings, but also of the vegetation and the crop.   This symbol was obviously  very easy one to embrace from the Spanish and it’s ancient symbolism makes it the perfect gift for the bride.  We love the variety that we have in our collection featuring birds, quetzals, stars, and lyres:

A Pair of Charming Antique Guatemalan Silver Crescent Moon & Bird Hoop Earrings
A Pair of Charming Antique Guatemalan Silver Crescent Moon & Bird Hoop Earrings From Coleccion Luna Vintage on Etsy

 

A Wonderful Collection of Antique Crescent Moon Earrings from The Highland Region of Guatemala
A Wonderful Collection of Antique Crescent Moon Earrings from The Highland Region of Guatemala

 

We adore the Guatemala wedding tradition where the bride and groom are bound together  during the wedding ceremony with a silver lasso/rope/necklace to symbolize their eternal union…another element from Spainish Colonial Period and the Catholic Church.  After the ceremony, the lasso becomes a gift for the bride.

Antique Silver Maya Wedding Necklace from Guatemala ca. early 20th century
Antique Silver Maya Wedding Necklace from Guatemala ca. early 20th century

 

The Guatemalan Wedding Lasso: the spiritual bond of the couple is celebrated by joining them together physically
The Guatemalan Wedding Lasso: the spiritual bond of the couple is celebrated by joining them together physically

 

Rings are exchanged between the spouses and like the antique earrings and lassos, are handcrafted from silver. The iconography varies with hearts, birds, intertwined hands, and other symbols of love.  The ones in our collection are from the area of the Verapaces in the Highlands of Guatemala and each one is sweet and endearing:

 

Spanish Colonial Indigenous Enagagement Wedding Rings from Altaverapaces, Guatemala
Spanish Colonial Indigenous Enagagement Wedding Rings from Altaverapaces, Guatemala

4 Responses

  1. Lea Funkhouser

    So beautiful! 💖💖

    • stephanie

      Gracias! Aren’t you lucky to have some of the “Luna” earrings!

  2. gayle jolluck

    A wonderful post. Love the symbolism especially the “lasso” tradition. Beautiful craftmanship

    • stephanie

      Gracias…you will enjoy seeing some of these beautiful pieces in person soon!

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