Baby Jewelry Customs Around the World
Baby jewelry customs vary and span across the globe. From Mexico to Europe to the Caribbean, various geographical regions and cultures offer their own unique takes on infants and kids wearing jewelry. While it’s nearly impossible to hone in on every culture’s specific approach to baby jewelry, we’ll be highlighting a few key cultures and their specific customs.
Mexican Baby Jewelry Customs
Blending ancient indigenous culture and European influence, Mexico offers a breadth of interesting baby jewelry customs. Thanks to its predominantly Catholic population, Catholic jewelry traditions are notable in Mexican culture.
Catholic Jewelry Traditions
One of the most significant figures in Mexican Catholic artwork is La Virgen de Guadalupe, who is frequently depicted in Mexican jewelry for babies and adults. According to religious accounts, the Virgin Mary appeared several times before Juan Diego, a native peasant who eventually became canonized as the first Mexican saint.
La Virgen de Guadalupe is praised as a Mexican symbol, and her depiction in jewelry signifies the strong link between Mexico and Catholicism. More specifically, La Virgen de Guadalupe jewelry makes a great gift for newborns, since Catholics and Christians believe that Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ.
In Mexico and other predominantly Catholic countries, it is customary to gift a piece of religious jewelry such as a cross necklace, rosary, or a guardian angel necklace to a newborn. A baby’s baptism (or Christening, as it’s sometimes called) is the perfect occasion to give a gift that honors the family’s Catholic religion.
What is Evil Eye Jewelry?
Evil eye jewelry is a type of jewelry that is common among various populations, specifically Latin American and Turkish cultures. In general, evil eye jewelry is worn to deter evil spirits and makes a great gift for babies and adults alike.
Latin American Evil Eye Jewelry
Known asmal de ojo in Spanish, evil eye jewelry is said to ward off evil spirits that can cause babies to cry or get sick. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, mal de ojo jewelry is a common gift for newborn babies because of its protective qualities. Traditional Latin American evil eye jewelry incorporates red or pink colors and often featuresazabache, a protective jet black gemstone. Evil eye jewelry comes in many forms, but perhaps the most unique type is the evil eye brooch. Parents pin this protective brooch to their children’s garments to ward off the evil eye spirit.
Turkish Evil Eye Jewelry
In Turkey, evil eye jewelry featuresnazars, which are charms that are depicted as round, bright blue eyes. Nazars are an ancient form of jewelry, dating as far back as 3,000 years and remaining mostly unchanged. While blue is the traditional color of nazars, they may also be green.
Nazars are frequently placed on an infant’s nursery door as a protective symbol against the evil eye. Therefore, gifting a child with a beautiful nazar charm bracelet is an excellent way to further promote luck and protection.
Santeria Baby Jewelry
Santeria, a religion that has African and Caribbean influences, also incorporates its own baby jewelry customs. One of the most common themes of Santeria jewelry is the green and yellow color combination. These colors represent Orula, the orisha (spirit) of wisdom. In cultural artwork, Orula is frequently depicted wearing green and yellow clothing, and these colors can be seen in the flags of Jamaica and Dominica.
Orula is said to have great influence over one’s destiny, making him a very important figure in Santeria and Regla de Ocha. Bestowing a newborn with a green and yellow bracelet or necklace is a great way to honor Orula and invite wisdom and prosperous growth to the life of the child.
Baby Ear Piercing Around the World
Ear piercings for babies is an old tradition that is treasured by many cultures around the world. While some Western parents can’t imagine piercing their young child’s ears, infant ear piercing is a commonly accepted practice amongst other populations. For example, it is customary for Central and South American parents to have their babies’ ears pierced at a young age.
When choosing earrings for a baby, it is important to take the earrings’ materials into consideration. Because babies are much more sensitive than adults, choosing hypoallergenic materials is of the utmost importance. To learn more about how to choose earrings for your child, read our blog post about piercing babies’ ears.
Multicultural Baby Jewelry
As you have learned, baby jewelry customs have long standing tradition and meaning for many cultures around the world. From the Caribbean islands to the Middle East, it seems that each country and their respective cultures has a unique take on jewelry for little ones.
For the best selection of cultural jewelry for babies, there is no better place to shop than InSeasonJewelry.com. Browse our baby jewelry collection online to find unique gifts for the special child in your life.
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