It's a long story, but a year ago when we were in Vientiane we visited a gallery opening featuring painters, including our own Khamla Phanyasit, and it was there we saw a young woman wearing a naga pin on her blouse.
We had never seen any jewelry that we've liked featuring nagas until this evening when we saw the young woman wearing the pin. We asked her where she got the pin and luckily she had purchased it right there in Vientiane. Bai and I went to the shop the next day and saw that there were actually other styles of naga pins too, just as beautiful. We loved them, bought all they had, which was limited at the time, but got contact information and over the last year, through email and by phone made arrangements to pick up a selection of pins when we were in Laos this summer. It sounds like it should have been straightforward, but it wasn't and we came to the realization that the Thai can be very Lao-like (these jewelry pins are made in Thailand).
We love these pins and although they are relatively inexpensive, the quality is excellent and there is no where else you're going to find jewelry pins featuring Lao and Thai mythological figures like these. We are so excited to find a source of jewelry pins like these that complement our textiles so perfectly.
Our jewelry pins include three exquisite naga designs. Nagas are ubiquitous in Laos and one of our favorite designs in the textiles we feature at Laos Essential Artistry. Nagas are dragon or serpent-like beings with the word Naga coming from the Buddhist language Pali and in Lao it is called Nak. Nagas are often seen as benevolent beings that protect and save humans from illnesses, hunger and bad spirits, and Buddhists revere the Naga as he saved Buddha from the floods.
We also have some beautiful hong jewelry pins and Patricia Cheesman writes about the hong that "In Buddhism, hong is the local name for the mythical hamsa bird from the Himmaphan forest, representing the flight of Buddhist doctrine to all realms; symbolizing nirvana and the end of suffering. The hong can be seen on the ends of temple roofs either with a bird head or a naga head gracefully pointing to the sky."
Our current pin designs include nagas, hongs, kinnari, kinnara, siho/lasasee, nyaks/yakshas, bodhi leaf and elephants.
For any orders that only include our jewelry pins the shipping charge will be $4.95, instead of $7.95, which is the flat rate charge for Priority Mail for the smallest box. When you place an order you will at first be charged $7.95, but before we charge your credit card we will change the shipping charge to $4.95.