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The CBR Logo

The logo of the Center for Bead Research is a bronze lingling-o. The name is from the Ifugao of the northern Philippines. Ifugao artisans make them. The Ifugao string them at the top and wear them as pendants. Gold ones are very valuable. Their neighbors, the Bontoc, the Kalinga and the Gad-dang also wear them, but most often as earrings. In recent years, the lingling-o as a pendant has become a proud symbol worn by the youth these mountain-dwelling people.

The shape of the lingling-o is very old. It was originally made from nephrite jade and later in glass by the Sa Huynh people of what is now southern Vietnam. They wore it as an earring. These people were great mariners, and traded all around the South China Sea hundreds of years before the Common (Christian) era.

One object they took with them was this piece of jewelry. Archaeologists have found them from Thailand to the Philippines and Hong Kong to Java. Local copies in solid metal, wire and clay were also made. The shape was adopted on the Indonesian island of Sumba, where fancy gold mamuli remain an important part of the local culture, though no longer being made.

I have adopted the lingling-o as the Center's logo for three reasons. One is its longevity. Another is the complex story its trade tells. A third is that I like the idea of an ancient piece of adornment (whether pendant or earring) being used to symbolize pride in one's heritage.


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