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The Silliest Mala (Power) Bracelet

The whole power bead thing began rather fuzzily and is just getting more and more odd.
Herein is the strangest of the lot that I have seen.

Billing itself as Feng Shui (properly pronounced below as Fung Shway), this bracelet takes its name from Chinese geomancy. Geomancy is a form of divination from figures and lines and the "science" of placing houses, furniture, etc. in favorable positions. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with beads.

The back of the label informs us that blue-green beads bring harmony, amber brings love and copper is the sign of the sun.

Yeah, O.K., except that all the beads are glass. What power does that bring?

The oddest element of this bracelet is the "ancient Chinese charm that represents heaven and earth."

The "ancient charm" is just a knock-off of Chinese coins. It's a poor imitation (with a loop!) of an imitation Chinese coin (the one shown here was made in Bali). I guess it is the thought that counts.

O.K., so what do you want for a buck ($US 1)?

To me, the interesting thing about this whole craze is the obvious sophistication that the Chinese glass bead industry is employing. Beads are being made by molding, drawing and segmenting (the copper beads), as well as by the traditional winding. They are decorated with paint, linings and a lustering technique.

The height of sophistication are the new Discos Beads. I'm sure you will want to wear them the next time you go to the Disco (don't tell me your local Disco has closed).

[They] actually glow. Phosphorescent paint has been put around the center zone of the beads.

I am not trying to poke fun at this Chinese industry.  I think it is developing quite well and I congratulate those involved on their marketing skills, if somewhat peculiar or outdated.


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