This Design #3, Lovebirds Bracelet With Abalone Inlay, hand carved by Owen Walker at Walker Goldsmiths is beautiful with or without Abalone Inlay in the eyes. Owen also can also weld red gold into the eyes that is a very striking look.
In the 18th century when the Native Cultures of the Northwest Coast were flourishing and the wealth of the fur trade was flowing throughout the world, a curious custom was born. When a man was mature and wealthy enough to seek a wife he had to look outside his clan, and had to receive permission of the woman’s uncle before he could court her and make his intentions known to her family. He announced his suit by giving her a gift. In more ancient times this gift could have been almost anything of value, and the higher the value the higher his status.
Among the Tlingit and Haida peoples of Alaska there are only two moieties, the Ravens and the Eagles. The gift of choice was a silver or gold bracelet, hand-carved with the symbol of both moieties, the Eagle and the Raven, hence Lovebirds. This custom is very much alive and flourishing on the Northwest Coast and is the most frequently requested pattern we carve. We often use the word clan rather that moiety, but the correct term is moiety.
When the man met a woman he was interested in, the first question asked was usually “Are you Raven or Eagle?”. If both are Eagles or Ravens they are as brother and sister, and the relationship dies right there, “friends only” allowed, but if one is Raven and one Eagle sparks may fly!
Hand Carved ~ Sterling Silver Lovebirds Bracelet ~ by Owen Walker
design #3, 1 and 1/4″ wide tapering lightly to 1″ with Abalone inlay.
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