Photographer's Note

These traditional solid high grade silver round earrings, are the real thing worn for generations by the colourful Black Hmong women, the trademark separating them from other ethnic minorities. Normally worn three pairs at once, these distinctly designed are handcrafted by highly skillful Black Hmong silversmith using traditional methods and patterns to create these embossed earrings with a classic triangle rise in the middle and fern frond patterns on the end. Since these are handmade, so slight variations are standard and clearly visible.

These earrings are worn by pulling out the thinner portion from the spiral holding post and inserted through the back of the ear. As an option and to maintain the integrity of the metal, dangling hooks are sometimes provided for permanent attachment to keep the metal from wearing through a multitude of openings. The women rarely take them out, eliminating the problem of metal fatigue.

The Black Hmong's love of silver is famous throughout SE Asia and their silversmith skills are renowned. Traditionally, they keep much of their family wealth in the form of silver jewelry and French colonial silver coins. On New Year's Day they wear it all in an impressive display, even children and men wear silver ornaments. Both men and women, for example, wear thick heavy silver neck rings and bracelets. They are often seen wearing large silver pendants vaguely resembling the shape of an old style lock. Worn at the back or the front, ‘soul lock pendants’ are said to lock the restless spirit in the body and prevent accidental departure into the next world.

To the Black Hmong, silver symbolizes more than wealth; it is the essence of a good life.....

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6591 W: 150 N: 14422] (63581)
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