Medicinal Mojo Necklace
About 1973 or 4, when I was still young to Santa Fe, my thin wallet’s shadow could not shade my fat ideas. With my wife’s wisdom and energy at my side we worked to make opportunities happen.
That’s how I came into a few thousand strands of antique Venetian, Dutch, and French glass trade beads. Sosoko, a beautiful African man brought them to me strung on native grasses.
The more I studied the beads the more I was drawn into them. Even large bits of information I received were not enough. I learned that some beads were simple, while others were compound, mandrel wound, drawn, glob wound, and rolled on a marver. I even hired some kids on the island of Murano, off of Venice, Italy, to dive down and bring up sweepings from a few hundred years of bead making.
After a few years of study, I decided to write a book about ancient beadmaking and beadmakers. Finally, I learned enough to know that I couldn’t write the book. The subject was just too complex for me. And now, here I am with all of these beads.
So I started making necklaces, and here is one of them.
I guess I’ve made 200 or more in 3 and 5 strands. I strung them at night while we watched Johnny Carson and they sold in our gallery so fast that we almost ran out of sales slips.
The diagnostic medical descriptions below are Sosoko’s. He recited them to me one hot day when we both were high on cold Coca Colas. There are a few non-bead items strung on. I did that to give balance to the power of the necklace. Every item is old and authentic. The orange coral spacer beads are from the Mediterranean Ocean. As I describe each bead see if you can find it on the necklace.
- Red Peking bead. Helps reduce your blood pressure when the witch next door takes your parking spot.
- Argentinian German coin dated 1930. Can be used if you are in Argentina and need to take the bus home from a blind date.
- Green faceted Russian trade bead, dug up, ca 1810. Prevents dings, lesions, and scratches when you are attacked by a woman who is jealous of your good looks.
- Ancient Venetian Millefiori (a thousand flowers) bead. Prevents sleep if you suffer from catalepsy.
- Three paternoster (chevron) beads. Gives you 3 times your normal protection while you’re drinking in saloons. Doesn’t work after 2am if Brad Pitt is present.
- Ancient vaseline bead from Jakarta. This bead has such catch-all healing prowess that it can only be described in 3 mother languages.
- Ancient projectile point from Texas. Made from Edwards Plateau Chert. Protects you from those who would lessen your desirability. Doesn’t work when Playboy photographers are in the neighborhood.
- Metal girl’s shoe buckle. Picked up on the Santa Fe Trail where it was lost about 1850. It adds nothing to this necklace but wonderment.
- Ancient eye bead from polynomia. Copied from 2,000-year-old Egyptian faience beads. It warns you when your mother-in-law approaches. Inoperative during Christmas and Thanksgiving.
- Five-inch John Campbell bone hair pipe, ca 1860. Was originally a hair drop owned by a Blackfeet Indian maiden. Helps keep you awake during PTA meetings.
- Rattlesnake vertebra from the Galisteo Basin in New Mexico. If you walk through the forest it will prevent your knees from clanking together and scaring the rabbits.
- Copper hawk bell from a Cheyenne woman hide dress, ca 1850. Contains the original Klanker. Warns you when weird men approach you in a bar. Doesn’t work after you’ve had 4 beers.
- Yellow/orange amber bead from Afghanistan, ca mid-1700s. It keeps your face from turning red when you embarrass yourself at Christmas parties.
- Handmade mother of pearl blouse button, ca 1880. Keeps you from having a wardrobe malfunction when the wind over 40 knots. Especially useful at outside Justin Bieber concerts.
- Copper gear from a pocket watch, ca 1880. Makes time tic faster when you’re at the opera or your mother-in-law’s house.
- Generic female silver Milagro from a church in Oaxaca, ca 1825. Instills energy when you’re talking on the phone with an obnoxious woman. Tells you when to hang up in her face.
- Brass US Army Cavalry button from an officer’s uniform, ca 1876. Slows food intake. Doesn’t work with tapioca and most flavors of ice cream. It automatically malfunctions if you are eating a hot dog with mustard, dill relish, sauerkraut, salt and pepper, and tabasco.
- Green sentinel bead, ca mid-1700s. Jingles against your skin to alert you when you’re standing under mistletoe and an obnoxious jerk kind of guy is somewhere around your close area.
- Malachite bead, ca 1740, from New Caledonia. Helps you retain mental blockages when a Politian asks you for a donation.
- Experienced German silver cross, ca 1750. Will give you strength physically, mentally, spiritually, and morally, if your faith is strong enough, and if it isn’t, you’d better be very careful. f