1 June 2015
Earrings Around the World
Trot around the globe with us as we check out some popular earring styles by country!
From the ancient Egyptians to the Scandinavian Vikings, earrings have been worn around the world to denote a sense of prestige and beauty. Here’s a selection of our favourite earring styles by culture!
In Japan, the cuter the better – we love Japanese plum flower earrings, hand-crafted from a traditional Japanese fabric called Chirimen.
Hop over to China and you’ll find authenticity dictates fashion values – with jade earrings in the shape of the Pi (a continuous circle representing the circle of life, longevity and ever-lasting life) proving as popular now as it was thousands of years ago.
In Africa the Earth reigns supreme. Earrings are usually hand-made from natural materials including stones, shells, feathers and bones. Different colours and styles depict different tribal areas.
The bolder the better for Indian women who love to embellish themselves in ornate gold jewellery and earrings adorned with semiprecious stones.
For Native Americans it’s silver, turquoise, feather and beaded earrings made in the shape of dream catchers and revered spirit animals.
If you visit a Scandinavian country, you’re bound to discover a strong link to the Viking past with gorgeous silver earrings in the shape of ancient boats. To celebrate the endless sunlight in the North Cape of Norway (known as the northernmost point in Europe) which enjoys 76 days of light during summer, women wear silver sun earrings. Earrings in the shape of a love knot are worn to symbolise wealth, health and happiness.
Traditional Russian earrings include leaf shapes embedded with precious stones, hand-painted wooden flower earrings and village earrings made of pearl beads and horsehair. In northern Russia, butterfly earrings have always been popular with the size of the wings depicting the wealth of the wearer.
Egyptians wore earrings as far back as 5000BC – starting with materials like bones, stones and woods to serve religious and spiritual interests. The most common symbol was the Ankh (a cross with a hoop at the top, representing eternal life) which still exists today. Other prominent Egyptian symbols often found in jewellery (which is now usually made of gold) include lotus flowers, scarabs and falcons.
Of course we can’t trot around the globe looking at earring styles without paying homage to our own backyard – traditional Kiwi earrings are influenced by our Māori heritage with feathers, greenstone and bone providing plenty of creative inspiration.