Monday, April 16, 2012

Visiting Nigeria: Nigerian and African jewelry

I just got back from a 10-day trip to Amsterdam and Lagos, Nigeria, where we attended the wedding of a friend. It was really interesting to experience a culture that's so different from my own and to see how the Nigerians eat, dress, etc.

I also was, of course, fascinated by the jewelry that was worn by the women at the weddings. Nigerian women seem to favor large, bold statement pieces. Our host wore dangle earrings that practically reached her shoulders and many of the guests donned long, chunky earrings and large eye-catching necklaces. Here in the United States, we're often told that less is more, but Nigerian women seem to love being adorned -- and make it work!

During our time there we also visited the National Museum in Lagos. The museum is filled with ancient African artifacts, including instruments and jewelry. I've always loved learning about ancient civilizations, but this time, I had a special eye on the jewelry. I admired each piece and figured out how each was put together -- whether it was woven or attached with wire, etc. It felt good knowing that I'm skilled enough at making jewelry that I can now "dissect" others' work, even work that was made thousands of years ago.

I'm still processing our trip (and recovering from jetlag), but already have some ideas for African-inspired statement pieces. I can't wait to add some unique new pieces to my collection!

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs on Etsy.

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