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Earrings as Art

We like to decorate our ears. Try to forget that you had your ears pierced in a mall just as soon as you could talk your mother into letting you do it. Try to forget that you have given away as gifts more earrings than there are margaritas in Cabo. Consider from the perspective of an alien visiting our planet for the first time: "They decorate their auditory recepticals with small bits of shiny metal and colorful rocks." In our fast-paced modern cultures our ears provide one of the easiest and most prominent body parts to adorn. We express ourselves, our moods, our attitudes through the jewelry we afix to our ears.

Earrings have been around forever. Well, ok, as near as we can tell, a really really long time. The oldest known earrings are the Lunate earrings. The Lunate earrings were excavated in Ur in Mesopotamia, what is now Iraq (of all places). These gold crescent hoops are approximately 4,500 years old.

The earliest designs of earrings were hoops and pendants made of precious metals, most commonly gold, and sometimes bone. The popularity of earrings rose and fell throughout the ages in direct relation to hairstyles. For example, the adornment of our ears fell out of favor during the Middle Ages. It was considered immoral for respectable married women to be seen in public with their heads uncovered. Then in the mid-1500's women began wearing their hair up, exposing their ears. Earrings resurged. Today earrings thrive with as many different variations as there are people wearing them. We wear danglies of all sorts, hoops and posts and spirals and swirlies, made from all kinds of materials including silver and gold and sea shells, pearls and gems and glass beads. We wear earrings as art. By Serene Chong, Eleworth By Topher ZiCornell, Eleworth www.

eleworth.com offers an increasingly wide selection of artistic, hand-made earrings.


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