108 is the magic number of holy necklaces from religions around the world. The rosary. The mala. Even in Native American traditions 108 mountain laurel seeds (used by Medicine Men to visit the Spirit World) could be traded for a horse. In this series of holy necklaces, I took objects form my life and strung them together to suggest it is not the material that makes the necklace holy but rather the 108 number seemingly connecting us all together. Because isn’t there more that connects than separates really?
This necklace is made of 108 pieces of vintage abacus beads from as early as the 1920’s and salvaged from Wimberley, Texas. The abacus, also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool that was in use in Europe, China and Russia, centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu–Arabic numeral system. The exact origin of the abacus is still unknown. I’m asking the wearer to consider Math as a holy language. Due to the oversized wooden beads, this piece is quite heavy and is most wearable as a statement piece. The holy bead here is a found object piece of wood from the Eastern shores of the United States - it already had a hole naturally in the wood.