|Dimensions||3 × 1.8 cm|
The triangle shape and the beautiful harmony among the white mother-of-pearl and the aqua shades of the abalone shell make these earrings a sign of the complementary nature of the Trinity God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The making of jewellery and decorative items from Mother of Pearl is perhaps Bethlehem’s oldest and most established industry. The practice supposedly came to Bethlehem in the 15th century with the arrival of Franciscan friars. Locals soon mastered the art and made a modest living selling handmade items to the many pilgrims who streamed into Bethlehem.
Traditionally, the sea shells and abalone were brought in from the Port of Aqaba on the Red Sea but now they are imported from Australia, California, New Zealand, and Brazil. Palestinian Christians, particularly the Zoughbi family in Bethlehem, have often received international recognition for their mastery of this art form.
The history of Mother of Pearl carving in Palestine was featured in published in the May 2007 issue of .