Thursday, July 30, 2009
I love this necklace. I wrote about it in another post Alphonso and The Coconut.
My husband and I bought each other similar necklaces from Alphonso, a local artisan in Negril, several years back. I chose this one, a luscious coconut carved from Lignum Vitae, with a spiraI of tortoise shell over coral, attaching it to a leather cord. My husband chose a coral chalice embedded with pieces of silver, wrapped with a spiral of tortoise shell and also linked to a leather cord.
Alphonso, an elder rasta, took his art very seriously. He would rather sell his wares to The Right Person than just make a buck from a bad-minded buyer. After choosing our necklaces, Alphonso took them back to "prepare" them for us. He returned that evening, a healthy shot or two of overproof under his belt, and performed a ritual of sorts before handing them back to us.
He circled the yard of Whistling Bird, under the bright light of an August moon. He would pause in various corners of the place, muttering soft incantations at each stop, blessing the piece in the darkness. My husband and I exchanged glances, raising eyebrows and jutting our chins at one another, smiling. Alphonso eventually returned to our verandah. He then recited a blessing over each of us and placed the necklaces over our heads, one at a time, letting them gently fell to our neck and shoulders. A blessing of unity, family and love.
We will miss Alphonso, no more jewelry for us or for anyone. He passed away this past spring.
Posted by VH McKenzie at 11:59 AM