by Ashley Lodato
When the autumn air turns crisp and the birds begin their journey south, shops in multi-cultural cities throughout the world begin to fill with calaveras (sugar skulls), pan de muerto (sweet egg bread), cempasúchiles (marigolds), and altares (altars), as people of Mexican heritage prepare for Dia de Muertos.
Commonly misunderstood as simply the Mexican version of Halloween, Dia de Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout the country (and by Mexican people living elsewhere). Focusing on family gatherings, the multi-day holiday allows friends and relatives to pray for and remember those who have died, and to help them along on their spiritual journey.
Mexico gave us chocolate, popcorn, chewing gum, oral contraceptives, and tequila, but in the humble opinion of those of us at Bronwen Jewelry, by far the best thing Mexico has contributed to society is its daring use of color, as evidenced not only by Dia de Muertos decorations and celebrations, but also by the country's artisans' application of vibrant hues throughout their work.
On Dia de Muertos the streets are a riot of color: golden marigolds honoring the dead clustered in bouquets, garlands, and wreaths; bright fabric underlaying altars featuring offerings of glossy fruit, vivid paper adornments, and ornate dolls; costumes and face paint and flags.
Bronwen's Aurelia Beaded Post Earrings capture some of this color: blistering orange, fiery red, sumptuous purple, sparkly gold, brilliant aquamarine. Made with love in a traditional form by an established Fair Trade artisan in Jalisco, Mexico, these post earrings are eye-catchingly unique but light and simple enough for everyday wear, contrasting harmoniously with everything from cowl neck sweaters to little black dresses. Our Aurelia Beaded Rings add zip to neutral ensembles and bring out colors you didn't know were there, as well as complementing the post earrings with the same name. These handcrafted pieces of artisan jewelry fit Bronwen's aesthetic as well as our business practices.
While not as vivid as our Aurelia line, our Huichol jewelry adds its own elegance, sparkle, and warmth through tones of silver, gold, black, and satin. Our partnership with Huichol Love, a line of exquisite beaded jewelry made by Huichol artisans in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico and finished with sterling silver and gold elements in Sayulita, Mexico and Austin, Texas, allows us to offer beaded cuffs and earrings that are a combination of colorful ethnic intensity and shimmering clean glamour. The Huichol Pulso bracelet is slim or wide according to your preference, and is so darn attractive you probably won't be able to take your eyes off your own glimmering wrist.
When Bronwen's travels take us to Mexican neighborhoods that inspire us through their vibrancy, we design jewelry inspired by them, such as our Condesa line of wrap bracelets, cuffs, and necklaces. Our water-friendly Condesa Double Wrap Bracelets from our unique Active Line feature Czech glass beads complemented by shimmering metals; our elegant Condesa Cuff Bracelets are a striking blend of modern and traditional ethnic charm, and our Condesa Disc Necklace is colorful, hip, and sophisticated. To really knock people out, slip on a striking Condesa Tassel Necklace.
Whether you honor Dia de Muertos from a cultural perspective or you just love the use of vibrant bursts of color employed in this traditional holiday, you can surely appreciate the trickle-down effect of the holiday's aesthetics on Bronwen Jewelry. At Bronwen Jewelry, we bring the world's colors to you.