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history of cowrie shells

The cowrie shell has many uses and meanings. It has shown up in the form of money, jewelry, and even religious accessories in almost every part of the world.

Found in the islands of the Indian Ocean, the cowrie shell soon gained popularity throughout much of ancient Africa. Its influence, however, also spread to China, where it was used as a form of currency to such an extent that the Chinese used its shape to form their pictograph for money. Today excavations have found some of the money of ancient China in the form of brass and silver cowrie shells. Wherever the cowrie shells were found, it seems as if they were thought of as wealth.

The back side of a cowrie shell resembles a female sexual organ. The front side is shaped like the abdomen of a pregnant woman. The meaning is not erotic, but represents a miricle of life. This unique design of the cowrie shell is one main reason why this shell has maintained so much popularity throughout history.

Spiritually, according to African legend if you are attracted to cowrie shells you could be family to an ocean spirit of wealth and earth. It also represents Goddess protection which is very powerful and connected with the strength of the ocean. Throughout Africa, and South and North America, the cowrie symbolized the power of destiny and prosperity. Thought of as the mouth of Orsisas, it also is believed to have taught stories of humility and respect.

However you interpret these tiny white shells they are a fascinating, unique addition to your wardrobe. Whether in jewelry, or in crafts, or in any other use you can imagine these shells are sure to add an exotic feel of Africa and make an excellent, one of a kind, fashion statement.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Wayne_Kiltz

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history of the shea butter

What is Shea Butter?

Shea Butter is a natural plant extract with exceptional moisturizing properties which comes from the karite or shea tree. The Shea tree, formerly Butryospermum paradoxum, is now called Vitellaria paradoxa.  It produces its first fruit (which resemble large plums) when it is about 20 years old and reaches its full production when the tree is about 45 years old. It produces nuts for up to 200 years after reaching maturity. Many vernacular names are used for Vitellaria, which is a reflection of its extensive range of occurrence – nearly 5,000km from Senegal (west) to Uganda (east) across the African Continent. The nomenclature history and synonymy of the Shea tree followed a very tortuous evolution since the oldest specimen was first collected by Mungo Park on May 26, 1797 before eventually arriving at the name vitellaria with subspecies paradoxa and nilotica. It usually grows to an average height of about 15m with profuse branches and a thick waxy and deeply fissured bark that makes it fire resistant. The Shea tree grows naturally in the wild in the dry Savannah belt of West Africa from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east, and onto the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands. It occurs in 19 countries across the African continent, namely Benin, Ghana, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo Uganda, Zaire and Guinea.

What is Shea Butter used for? And who uses it?

Shea Butter is used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and in Europe it is also used in the confectionary and chocolate industry as a cocoa butter substitute.

People of all ages and skin types utilize shea butter because of its many uses.  Every house should have a jar of shea butter for smoother skin or for treatment of minor skin injuries around the house. Shea butter can be used to treat various skin problems including dry skin, psoriasis, burns, blemishes, eczema, wrinkles and stretch marks. Other uses: Adds and maintain moisture to dry and brittle hair, revitalizes, repairs breakage & split ends and promotes hair growth.

For Healing

  • Eczema, Infant eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Dry skin, dry scalp and hair
  • Psoriasis
  • Cracked skin
  • Cracked, bleeding skin
  • Cuticle repair
  • Itchy Skin
  • Muscle fatigue, tension & aches
  • Rough heels
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis
  • Sunburn relief
  • Skin rashes, diaper rash
  • Scars
  • Surgical incisions and scars
  • Skin blemishes, dark spots
  • Stretch mark minimization

For Anti-Aging

  • Wrinkle, fine line reduction
  • Reactivation of collagen synthesis
  • Increases skin balance,elasticity and tone.
  • Eliminates dull, grayish complexion

For Prevention

  • Stretch marks during pregnancy
  • Wrinkle formation
  • Dry, chapped, itchy skin
  • Skin peeling

For Skin Protection

  • Amazing skin moisturizer
  • Maintaining healthy skin
  • Softer, smoother skin
  • Shaving Cream

 

HISTORY OF COPPER

Copper Jewelry, Health & Healing

From as early as Ancient Egypt, people have believed that copper jewelry has special qualities that improve or protect the health of the wearer.  These beliefs may be partly based on copper's physical composition and conducting properties.  New Age Healers believe copper stimulates the mental and psychic flow of energy, as well as the energy between the working parts of the human anatomy.

Healing Properties of Copper Jewelry

  • Overcomes Fatique
  • Raises Energy Levels
  • Improves Communication
  • Improves Concentration
  • Raises Self-Esteem
  • Relieves Stress
  • Aids in Bone Formation & Healing
  • Relieves Arthritis & Rheumatoid Diseases
  • Improves Blood Circulation & Oxygenation
  • Detoxification
  • Reduces Swelling
  • Stabilizes Metabolism
  • Aids in Skin Healing