--Guest Post By Ben Chaffee
Create an individualized fashion for yourself that is not of a box sent to thousands of others, but that is of secrets of traditions with deep roots into the ancient world. Impress others with a fashion that is real and authentic, fashion with a story. Let the attention of a crowd subtly and gracefully drift to you with a conversation starter being the tribal centerpiece of your own fashion.
The best fashion is not just what looks great. To impress you need to look your best, but you also need that which captures attention and interest. You need to capture the imagination of the observers, to transport them to a new world through your fashion.
Fashion designers are constantly trying to come up with new designs and styles to do just this. But the world is full of ancient cultures diverse and unique, colorful and fun, tribal and primitive. Tribal cultures of the world have embraced elements of nature and of their communities to develop whole different hidden worlds of fashion.
The Hmong people live in villages spread out across Southeast Asia creating an interconnected mosaic of art and culture. The Miao Hmong who reside in the hills of Southwest China have since ancient times believed that silver dispels evil by scaring away evil spirits. To keep themselves and their communities safe from evil women of the Miao adorn themselves with silver necklaces, bangles, earrings and intricate headpieces, constantly building on ancient styles and traditions with new variations of handmade silver jewelry.
Ben Chaffee and Alex Zinn spend six months of every year visiting Hmong hill tribe villages throughout Southeast Asia to discover the best of their ancient jewelry heritage. What they’ve found is jewelry for a new generation of individual women, an individualized and unique fashion with deep meaningful connections to the deep tribal cultural heritage of the world.
Hmong Silver Feather Necklace
Collected from a traditional Hmong tribal village famous for its silver jewelry craftsmanship, this silver feather necklace extends around the neck with interlocking silver feathers. With some weight but not heavy or clumsy, it is a powerful necklace.
→ Buy the Hmong Silver Feather Necklace, $45.00, at culture-cross.org.
Vintage Miao Tribal Silver Pendant
An original silver pendant collected from a Miao Hmong village in Southwest China near the border to Laos. Originally intended to be worn as an earring for ceremonies, it is strikingly beautiful as pendant. Subtle yet eye-catching, this piece will compliment almost any fashion style.
→ Buy the Vintage Miao Tribal Silver Pendant, $45.00, at culture-cross.org.
Hmong Miao Tribal Choker
This tribal choker is a contemporary representation of a traditional Hmong ceremonial necklace. The four metal rings with handcrafted designs on silver represent four types of prosperity: health, wealth, community and happiness. This choker necklace is perfect for the fall with a low-rise sweater.
→ Buy the Hmong Miao Tribal Choker, $40.00, at culture-cross.org.
Ben Chaffee is an avid adventure travel enthusiast, tribal culture expert and tribal jewelry collector. Through his firsthand experience, Ben explores the rich heritage of Southeast Asian tribal culture to bring the best of tribal art to fashion enthusiasts around the world.