Category: Blog

Rhodochrosite_ The Stone of Love

The Stone of Love – Rhodochrosite Metaphysical Properties

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to learn more about Rhodochrosite and stone, also known as the stone of love. Rhodochrosite jewelry is known for its rosy pink hues. It can range from a pale pink to a darker raspberry tone.

Also called the stone of the compassionate heart, this charming love stone helps bring joy to oneself, helps to heal old wounds, and helps to love oneself and others unconditionally.

History of Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite, known as Rosa del Inca or Inca Rose, was found in pre-Colombian silver mines back in the 13th century. At that time, the area was known as Tahuantinsuyo and was located within the Inca Empire. Viracocha or Inca Ripac, an Incan ruler during that time, took credit for discovering the lovely crystals within the mine.

Incans believed the beautiful deep pink-red deposits were actually the crystallized blood of their ancient rulers. As the Incan Empire declined, they abandoned the mines which remained untouched for about seven hundred years. During this time, rhodochrosite stalactites and stalagmites formed in the mine and grew to be enormous.

rhodochrosite1That same rhodochrosite deposit began to be mined again in 1937 by a German geologist by the name of Franz Mansfield. He had about 10,000 pounds of rhodochrosite extracted and used for creating jewelry.

According to a legend, there is a deep cave underneath the Andes Mountains where a huge heart-shaped rhodochrosite boulder is located. This boulder is thought to be the heart of Mother Earth. The locals believe the boulder, or Mother Earth’s heart, beats only once every two hundred years. They keep the boulder well-protected.

Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral that often forms with thin creamy white, pale pink, tan, or brown stripes. The white or pink stripes are usually crystalline manganocalcite formations, although occasionally they are layers of chalcedony. Deep brown stripes are layers of a zinc-rich material known as capilliite.

Rhodochrosite Meaning

Rhodochrosite symbolizes love of all kinds. Love of oneself, love of others, spiritual love, love of Mother Earth, and universal love all echo the meaning of rhodochrosite. This deep pink to red gemstone resonates with the heart to promote the love.

rhodochrosite2

It helps to heal old wounds so that you can love yourself again and feel worthy of the love of others. This beautiful deep pink stone is perfect for finding and renewing old love, and making a new loved one feel confident in the relationship.

This is a special stone to me as it is one I kept close at hand before my mother passed. When I wore it, it reminded me of the love we shared as mother and daughter. I also kept it as a reminder to love myself during the hard times. No matter the love that you are seeking help with, keeping a piece of Rhodochrosite near you will surely remind you that love is everywhere!

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Rhodochrosite healing properties and its beautiful meaning. Make sure to check out our pieces with this beautiful pink stone in them.

XOXO DeeDee

Everything About Native American Pow Wows

Everything About Native American Pow Wows

Happy New Years to you all! As 2019 is upon us and in one short week I will be another year older, I’ve been thinking more and more about the heritage we carry with us. Sometimes, it’s subtle – like the way we prepare food – and sometimes our heritage comes to the forefront, mostly during large, joyful celebrations.

Personally and most recently for my family, this meant enjoying the Holidays with lots of Tamales, Menudo, and then welcoming the New Year with Chicken and Poblano Soup.

That gave me an idea. I want to introduce you the most joyous, extraordinary celebration of Native American traditions and heritage – Native American pow wows!

What Is a Pow Wow?

In short, a (modern) Native American pow wow is a gathering of people that serves to celebrate and appreciate all the Native American traditions, culture, and heritage.

A pow wow includes formal dancing, music, singing, feasting, and an all-around good time – but don’t confuse it with a party. What pow wows represent, what they truly are, is a way to keep the Native American traditions and culture alive – a way to enjoy and appreciate them. Some pow wows are private, while others are open to the public. So, if you ever have a chance to attend one, don’t miss out – it’s an amazing experience!

Native American Pow Wow

Native American tribes had their own celebrations after successful hunts, food gathering, name-giving celebrations, etc. One of them evolved into the modern pow wow.

Some believe that the word pow wow actually comes from the old word for a medicine man, Pau Wau, in the language of the Algonquian people.

Throughout the 19th century, at a time of great troubles for the Native Americans, pow wows were common in the Great Plains. During that time, pow wow served as a celebration of rich Native American culture. Many tribes would gather to dance, perform music, and continue their traditions. What was most emphasized was generosity and the exchange of gifts, so the many tribes had another purpose – affirming friendship among people.

As time went by, the old pow wows grew into the modern pow wow – a great festivity where Native American heritage is honored, and almost every aspect of the culture appreciated with love and care.  

Native American Pow Wow Music

Music is extremely important for every pow wow. In fact, everything that happens during the celebration revolves around music! There’s no pow wow without the beat of the drum and the singers’ enchanting voices.

The drums are hand-made and the musicians, all part of a group sometimes called simply Drums, are often at the very center of the dance area. That way, the drums reverberate through the whole arena, and not only does it provide accompaniment to the dancers, but the vibrations also radiate so that the music you hear on pow wows reaches deep inside you.

Native American Pow Wow Music

Native American Pow Wow Dancing

When it comes to dancing, pow wows are spectacular! Dancers do their regalia and move around the main circle, dancing to the beats of the drum, displaying their own style of dance. There are several styles, some for men, and others for women, and each of them may be a part of a dancing contest.

Some of the men’s styles are Grass dance, Fancy dance, Traditional dance (Southern and Northern).

Women’s dance styles you can find on pow wows are Fancy Shawl, Traditional, Buckskin or Cloth.

The most wonderful of all is the intertribal dance. That is the moment when everyone, every single tribe is invited to dance inside the circle while the drum sings its song. As a spectator, you may be invited to dance and celebrate Native American culture. If you don’t know what to do, don’t be scared! Just look at what others are doing, and be considerate of the people around you.

When Is the Next Native American Pow Wow?

There’s no pow wow season – they happen all year round! They usually last one whole weekend, so if you want to visit – plan your trip. Here are some pow wow happenings in January 2019:

  • You can attend the 19th Annual Morning Star Pow Wow on January 1st in Bel Air, Maryland.
  • The 3rd Annual Winter Pow Wow starts on January 26th, and ends January 27th, in Red Cliff, Wisconsin.
  • If you’re up for a longer trip, you can attend the Dakota Nation Winter Fest on January 31st in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

This next pow wow isn’t in January, but I simply have to tell you about it!

  • The Gathering of Nations Pow Wow is the largest pow wow in the States, where more than 150000 spectators, and more than 3500 dancers, gather to enjoy and celebrate Native American cultures.

It’s an unforgettable experience, crackling with energy, love, with appreciation, and after it’s done, I’m sure you’ll be wondering how come the time flew by so quickly! The Gathering of Nations Pow Wow happens on April 25-26, rain or shine, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Native American Pow Wow in Arizona

  • Shonto New Years Pow Wow lasts from December 30 to December 31 in Shonto, Arizona. This gathering is family friendly, so if you want your little ones to get to know Native American culture, this pow wow is a perfect opportunity.
  • The Apache Gold Casino will be hosting a pow wow on March 2-3 in San Carlos, Arizona. There will be hundreds of dancers, and music that you can’t help but fall in love with!
  • Another family-friendly pow wow will be held on March 23. The 15th Annual Westwood High School Social Pow Wow is yet another opportunity for you to get to know dances, music, and arts and crafts specific to Native American culture.
  • The 37th Annual Wa:k Pow Wow is scheduled for March 16-17 in Tuscon, Arizona. It’s Tuscon’s largest pow wow!

I hope this introduced you to the magic of pow wows! If you can’t attend one during 2019, but still want a small part of Native American culture to be close to your skin, check out some of the Native American jewelry in our store. Every piece is designed by Native American designers, and their modern look is imbued with rich tradition and heritage.

XOXO DeeDee

Southwest Native American Culture and Traditions

Southwest Native American Culture and Traditions

With the Holidays here it makes me think a lot about culture and tradition, and about the way we incorporate our heritage in our everyday lives. This can be through little superstitions, or how we prepare meals, or the lullabies our parents used to sing to us and we now sing to our children. My favorite way of incorporating my culture is through jewelry, and when it comes to the Southwest Native American traditions, jewelry is one of the more important ways we stay connected to our heritage.

So, this time I really want to tell you all about Southwest Native American culture and traditions the way they were centuries ago.

More than 12000 years ago, there were already people in North America. Scholars estimate that by the 15th century more than 50 million people already called North America their home. Because it’s all really overwhelming, academics divided them into “culture areas,” rather than studying them by tribe or community.

So, in the North American territory (excluding present-day Mexico) there are 10 of these areas: the Arctic, the Subarctic, the Northeast, the Southeast, the Plains, the Great Basin, California, the Northwest Coast, the Plateau, and the one I’ll tell you all about in this blog post – the Southwest!

The Southwest Native American Tribes

Before we get into the Southwest Native American culture and tradition, I just want to mention that there cannot be only one culture and tradition. Even though the scholars decided present-day Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Mexico are all a part of a one “culture area,” the truth is every tribe is distinct. There are similarities, but if you want to learn more about a people, you should really focus on one tribe.

The tribes of the Southwest people can be categorized, by their way of life, into three categories: the farmers (the Yuma, Prima, and Mojave tribes), the villagers (the Zuni, Hopi, and Pueblo), and the nomads (the Apache and Navajo). Because of their ways of life, and the nature surrounding them, they developed their own, particular cultures and traditions. They are alike in some ways and different in others – like all cultures!

So, the nomadic tribes – the Navajo and the Apache – were in constant movement and survived by hunting and gathering. Unlike the other tribes, their homes were less permanent, like the Navajos hogans, homes made of mud and bark. They didn’t stay in one place, so they didn’t need to worry about making their homes long-lasting!

The other tribes, farmers and villagers, had a different kind of life. They made “real” settlements, the ones that can survive for a good long while. Many lived in pueblos, homes built of stone and adobe that we can compare to apartment buildings of today.

The languages you’ll find in the Southwest area are Siouan, Algonquian, Uto-Aztecan, Caddoan, and Athabaskan. What’s really amazing is that a sign language also developed between these tribes – it was used to overcome language barriers so that they could communicate with each other!

The Southwest Native American Culture

To me, one of the more interesting and amazing aspects of the Southwest Native American culture is that it’s matrilineal. So, the ownership of livestock and other properties followed the female line. Unlike the more “western” cultures, the Native American culture of the Southwest meant that children were born into matrilineal societies, and when the men married, they would stay with the wife’s clans, not the other way around!

To take the example of the Navajo – when a child is born, whether it’s a girl or a boy – it takes the mother’s clan (not the father’s), and when a couple is married, it’s the groom who moves to the bridal home. Another Navajo belief is that each of our bodies is made of two halves – one male, the other female – and they are completely equal and exist as one.

Within a settlement, the entire extended family lived and worked together, with everyone (men and women equally) contributing to the agricultural processes. While the Native American women claimed a more equal status among the community, it was the men – the heads of households – who would gather to form community decisions (and if anyone knows of women participating in them, please let me know!).

These men – band leaders – were like a loosely organized council, and they would deal with only public happenings and unrest. But what was most important to the individual for their identity was the tribe, not the band leader.

Southwest Native American Culture

The Southwest Native American Traditions

Traditions stem from beliefs and culture, so it’s important to note here that the Southwest tribes’ religion and ceremonies are all based on animism – the belief that within each object in the universe resides a spirit.

Again, unlike the “western” cultures, Native American tribes believe souls and spirits are a natural part of humans, plants, animals, and also many natural forces – the rain, caves, rivers, mountains, the sun. The notion that Native Americans are “so connected” with nature likely stems from these beliefs. But all it really means is that Native American tribes have a deep respect to nature.

Ceremonies that Southwest Native Americans often practice are the winter and summer solstices – the Soyal festival, for example, is the winter solstice ceremony performed by the Zuni and the Hopi tribes. Prior to the ceremony, Paphos (prayer sticks) are made to bless the entire community. Sacred ritual chambers, called kivas, are also opened as a part of the ceremony.  

There are so many fascinating details about Southwest Native American traditions and culture that it was really hard to pick these! I hope you understand why I find them so beautiful and amazing. There’s really no question about how I and all the Pink Camel designers get inspiration for our work!

If you want a piece of the Southwest and the amazing culture and traditions of natives to always be by your side, check out the Pink Camel Boutique! Every piece of jewelry was exquisitely handcrafted by Native American designers, and made in a way that seamlessly blends the traditional with the modern.

XOXO DeeDee

Amazing Gaspeite Healing Properties

The Amazing Gaspeite Healing Properties

Let’s face it, we all adore a good gemstone! Aside from their mesmerizing colors and the way they dazzle when paired with even the most simple outfits, every gemstone has some spiritual properties you can benefit from.

We already shared the secrets of the healing powers of turquoise, so this time we are going green. Gaspeite is a very rare, dreamy green stone and, when worn against your body, its “vibrations” can help you heal in more ways than one.

So, allow us to let you in on this little secret, and tell you all about the healing properties of Gaspeite.

What’s Gaspeite anyway?

Gaspeite is a gorgeous gemstone, but is not widely used. Maybe because it’s so rare! It can be found in only two locations in the world, Canada and Australia, and now both deposits are drained, so the only way to find it is to look for a collector and see if they’re selling. Its apple green color is mesmerizing, but it also comes in colors that range from light green to yellow-green.

Gaspeite is opaque in its natural state, and with some brownish veining. You’ll most likely meet it in its translucent form – the gemstone is dazzling, and magically combines with almost any outfit. Really, if you have a necklace with a Gaspeite pendant, it almost looks like you have a real charm dangling around your neck, delicate and dainty, it’s like your own magical piece.

Since it’s a soft gemstone, you should store it separately and wrap in a soft cloth, in order to prevent any unwanted scratches. This is also why you should not wear it if you’ll be exerting yourself physically. Cleaning it is fairly easy – just use a soft cloth and some soapy water (but make sure you rinse the cloth out of all the soap residue first!).

Using Gaspeite For Healing

Before we begin, let me quickly tell you how to use Gaspeite. To get all the amazing Gaspeite benefits (and there are a lot of them!) you will need to keep it close to your body. This can be in the form of a necklace, pendant, or maybe even a pair of earrings.

Now, let me explain what Gaspeite can do for you!

Gaspeite For Physical Health

One of the best things about this gemstone is its healing power. The energy Gaspeite will bring to your life is deeply spiritual. This is why with Gaspeite you’ll find yourself emboldened to live your full life in the real world, but never lose sight of the spiritual perspective. This is a stone whose vibrations carry healing attributes. It’s been used to aid the treatment of lung disorders, asthma, bronchitis, and allergies to plants and pollen.

Gaspeite For Losing Weight

It’s said that wearing this gemstone can aid with losing weight, especially if you’ve tried a diet regimen before and did not like the results. Gaspeite can aid in activating the gallbladder, which encourages the body to break down fat from your intestines, so it might increase your metabolism too.

To get the most out of Gaspeite’s weight loss properties, you might try to combine it with Green Tourmaline, Heulandite, Rainforest Jasper, or Yellow Apatite.

Another thing this gemstone is particularly good for is helping to determine what foods your body actually needs. So, if you have trouble figuring out if you’re eating just because you’re bored, rather than hungry, this gemstone can help you with that!

Gaspeite and Your Mental Wellbeing

This, to me, is the most important and amazing property of Gaspeite jewelry and stones. This gemstone’s vibrations can help you let go of things you no longer need and that hinder you, instead of serving you.

Having this stone on your body also helps expand your consciousness, and that way you can begin to feel much more aware of how you need to live your life, instead of focusing on how you should live it  –  these shoulds and idealized images have a very negative effect on all of us, therefore, getting rid of them is definitely a good thing!

This gorgeous green stone can prevent you from slipping back into old habits you want to get rid of, and it can also increase your awareness of the world, so you can clearly see every situation you previously overlooked.

A lot of us will have some trouble with hoarding at one point or another – this can be a problem of too many shoes and purses, or even keeping old emotions and grudges well and alive when they really do more harm than good. Gaspeite’s vibrations can help you release yourself from these attachments. It’s really good at clearing all the emotional clutter we gather throughout our lives.

Have you heard of the inner child? Each of us has one  –  that’s a part of our personalities that’s amazed and excited about the smallest things in life, but it’s also very fragile and can be sent into a crying fit, when we get too stressed. Gaspeite can help you heal your own inner child and even help awaken it. Once that happens, you’ll drop that veil of sadness and cynicism, and see life like it really is  –  brilliant and magical!

Just like helping your inner child, Gaspeite can help bring you feelings of serenity and acceptance when you’re in some kind of turmoil. This is amazing  –  especially because our lives are filled with so much work and stress, that we hardly have time to catch a breath!

I can hardly believe myself how much good this tiny little stone carries! I think we all suffer from at least one of the maladies Gaspeite can heal, whether it’s emotional clutter, pesky allergies, or an unhappy inner child.

At Pink Camel, you can find Native American jewelry inlaid with gemstones, and each of them can help your spiritual wellbeing in some way. All you have to do is choose the one you need, and leave us a comment below about your experience!

XOXO DeeDee

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

Good morning to you all! We are almost halfway through November, so what better time than now to show you some of my favorite items from our very first Holiday Gift Guide!

What kind of shopper are you? Already done shopping for the Holidays? Maybe you are waiting for Black Friday deals? Or are you one of the waits until the last-minute types of person?

Personally, I’m a combination of the last two. I love waiting for a good deal, and that sometimes means I’m last minute shopping. This year I hope to have you, as well as myself, prepared for an easy, fun holiday season. I’ve listed my favorite items that make the perfect gift for this season. These gift items range from $16-$250, so there really is something for everyone. Check them out, and let me know which ones are your favorites in the comments below.

The first item is so festive and represents a perfect gift topper, stocking stuffer, white elephant gift, hostess gift, wine topper, and the best part is that it is just as good on its own! These copper ornaments are handmade in Scottsdale, AZ, and at only $16 each, they are a steal!

copper ornamentsNext on my list are our sterling silver and turquoise post earrings. With a variety of styles, you’ll surely find something for anyone. And they are a perfect, budget-friendly gift, only $25 each.

Our White Buffalo Turquoise earrings simply go great with anything. These slabs are very lightweight which makes them easy to wear, plus the White Buffalo Turquoise is very on trend right now! The white and black veining of the stone makes it easy to pair with various jewelry pieces as well as any outfit. Our small White Buffalo Turquoise slabs are $20 each and the larger ones are $25 each.Boulder Turquoise Slab

New to the shop, the Boulder Turquoise Slab earrings represent the ideal gift for any fashion-conscious individual out there. Mined in Nevada, this type of Turquoise displays an earthy brown tone with the beautiful turquoise blue we know. Our Boulder Turquoise Slab earrings are $25 each.White Buffalo Turquoise

Our inlay pendants are truly a work of art. Each piece is hand created from well-known Navajo Silversmiths and inlaid by Native American artisans with the finest gemstones, and no two pieces are the same. From Turquoise to Lapis and Opal, from feathers, hearts, horses to cacti, we have it all, and we got you covered. There is sure to be a piece for that special someone in your life.

inlay pendantsThis next item I’ve written about before. It is one of my favorites to wear, especially because of its versatility. Our suede and Turquoise wraps are made of genuine suede and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. The wraps are available in black, brown, and tan, and are $30 each.

suede and Turquoise wrapsOur Turquoise slab earrings are available in many sizes, and their prices range from $35-$60. Earrings always make a great gift in my book. Turquoise jewelry is one of those multipurpose gifts that compliments every outfit. Turquoise is known as the master healer, and when worn as jewelry, it protects you, anywhere you go.

Turquoise slab earringsThis next item carries impeccable detail for the art lover in your life. The Mosaic slab earrings are inlaid with Turquoise, Apple Coral, mother-of-pearl, Jasper and Jet Black. With the price of $50 each, it is surely an excellent gift for an art enthusiast in your life!

Mosaic slab earringsOur Navajo Cuffs made of sterling silver are a great addition to any outfit, and therefore a magnificent gift for everyone. Sizes vary, and prices range from $85-$265.

Navajo CuffsThese Turquoise slab pendants are showstoppers. They are made from genuine stabilized Turquoise and are enhanced with a sterling silver bail. Grab them as soon as you can, you won’t regret it! They are $75 each

Turquoise slabThanks for checking out my Holiday Gift Guide, and happy shopping!

XOXO DeeDee

The Different Ways to Wear Our Suede and Turquoise Wrap Chokers

The Different Ways to Wear Our Suede and Turquoise Wrap Chokers

As we approach the holidays, I want to talk gifts. One of my favorite things on a Christmas morning, besides Hot Cocoa with cinnamon sticks, is to see the faces on my beloved ones when they open their gifts. By this morning, I have spent days and months searching for the perfect gift for them, wrapping it in special paper and making sure everything is just right for them.  Why don’t you give a gift that keeps on giving? Start this holiday season! Our Suede and Turquoise wraps are perfect for it.

How do Suede and Turquoise wraps keep on giving?

Suede and Turquoise wraps are so versatile and can be worn multiple ways. There you have it. Our Suede and Turquoise wraps are made from quality lightweight suede and genuine Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Nuggets. They are available in Black, Brown and Tan. Who needs diamonds when you have Turquoise? Turquoise goes with everything, and at only $30 each, you  can have a gift everyone will talk about.

How to wear a wrap choker?

I love to change up how I wear my wrap depending on my outfit. Our Suede and Turquoise wraps can be worn as a choker necklace, a lariat, or bracelet.

Here are a few images of my favorite ways to wear them:

@alyssamaywilson

Blogger @alyssamaywilson styling her Fall look with our Tan Suede and Turquoise wrap as a choker with this outfit.

Blogger @barerootgirl wearing out Black Suede and Turquoise wrap as a choker.

@cityraisedfarmsaved

Blogger @cityraisedfarmsaved wearing our Black Suede and Turquoise wrap at the Pendleton Round up and Grilling with her Dad.

Alison, owner of TEASPRESSA

Alison, owner of TEASPRESSA wearing our Black Suede and Turquoise wrap as a lariat.

I also love to layer my wraps with a bracelet when I wear them.

wraps with a bracelet

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about different ways to wear our Suede and Turquoise wraps!

Let me know your favorite way to wear them in the comments below!

XOXO DeeDee