Why We Wear Ghost Beads
And Why You Should Too...
“Ghost Beads" are worn as beautiful jewelry, but there is so much more to the story.
These beads have a deep history with our people. They were first used medicinally after the first Europeans came to the southwest.
You see, they brought new diseases with them that our people were not immune to. This is the first time that cedar/juniper berries are mentioned in our stories.
Our people would make them into tea. The legend says that this kept them healthy in the face of new diseases.
Cedar/juniper berries have different phases as they grow and eventually fall to the ground.
They aren't really noticeable until they cover the trees. They have a bluish-gray, dusted color.
If the berries are on a female tree, they completely cover the tree. In some cases, there are so many that they almost look like bushels of grapes.
Once these berries fall to the ground, they disappear... to most people. But not the creatures.
Squirrels, chipmunks, and other creatures we share this earth with take these berries and make a gift for us (the five-fingered beings).
Once the critters peel the outside fruit from the fallen berries, they reveal the beautiful shell inside.
The critters also hollow out the bead from one side. The artist then only has to put a hole in one side of the bead. The jewelry is essentially made by the five-fingered being and nature’s creatures.
The design on the exposed juniper berry is so intricate and beautiful that only nature could have designed it.
Once the squirrel or chipmunk discards the berry. It is peeled, hollowed out the shell, and left as the perfect bead.
Because of the close contact with nature, these beads are held in high regard and seen as much more valuable than beads that can be manufactured or purchased.
Their value is said to be in their ability to offer protection to the wearer and keep them safe from the evil that may be lurking in everyday life.
At this point, our Navajo people gather what was once a cedar/juniper berry and is now a "Ghost Bead".
Local Navajo artists like Navajo Elder, 85-year-old Rena Whitehorse gather these beads and string them in the traditional way to create the most beautiful jewelry.
Sometimes mixed with colorful glass beads or beautiful shells, these Ghost Beads are perfect for anyone.
Anyone who is looking for something directly from nature. Anyone who is looking for an authentic Navajo creation. Anyone who is looking for added protection as they make their journey through life.
Meet The Artist
Meet Rena, Ghost Bead Artist
Rena is 85 years old. She strings this beautiful Ghost Bead Jewelry in the traditional way.
Sometimes Rena uses colored beads. But you can see from our supply that she prefers the more traditional look... leaving the necklaces, earrings, and bracelets mostly plain juniper beads.
Our Diné use these beads in the "Enemy Way" Ceremony.
Traditionally, our Diné say juniper beads provide protection against evil.
Also Called "Ghost Beads" or "Juniper Berry" or "Cedar Beads... these jewelry pieces are a staple of Our Navajo People.
We are always looking for more beads... but, grab some while you can. We never know when supplies will run out.
"I received my bracelet Thank you so much, I really appreciate it… the only problem was that my girlfriend also loved it … so as a good man I immediately gave it to her … I’d like to order another one."
"Received, LOVE IT, thank you so much!"
"My bracelet arrived yesterday! It’s beautiful! I love it, it’s fits perfectly ☺️ Thank you."
"Order Delivered... I love it."
"I have the bracelet and I bought one for my daughter. They are beautiful and I never take mine off, even in the shower. And it still looks great after 6+ months."
"Thank you; my beautiful juniper/cedar necklace arrived today."
"I’m wearing the Ghost Beads right now!! Thank you and I love them!!"
"I received the beads this morning, thank you for sending them and thank you for all that you do. More power to you and all Diné!"
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