The Elephant as Jewelry.
The year…1874. The place…The United States. The person…Thomas
Nast …political cartoonist…who creates a cartoon entitled
"Republican Votes" under a picture of an elephant. It is this cartoon
that causes the elephant to become the symbol of the Republican Party.
Nast is also instrumental in creating the symbol for the Democratic
party. Why he chooses an ass is a discussion for another time and
another type of Tidbit. So…is this cartoon the reason we wear
elephants as jewelry? Well… maybe it’s one reason. But there are
other reasons. Many many other reasons. In Africa…rings and
bracelets are made of elephant hair in order to ward away evil
spells. The elephant’s very size calls into being that it be used as
a good luck charm. Before they had tanks…before they used horses for
war…they put armor on elephants and used them as shields to advance
The association between man and elephants goes back to the beginning
of things. According to Hindu legend…the Creator once chanted over
the two halves of a cosmic egg from whence there were subsequently
produced eight cow elephants and eight bull elephants…all of whom
had the power of flight. Alas…they lost that power when they once
landed on a Banyan tree and crushed the dwelling of a hermit who
lived beneath it. The hermit …understandably unhappy at the
roosting elephants who squished his home…cursed them and caused
them to forever lose their power of flight.
So important an animal was the elephant in Indian life that an island
not too far from Bombay was called Elephanta. So important an animal
is and was the elephant that we make charms of it…and necklaces of
it… and brooches of it…and statuettes of it. We write stories
about it. Anyone remember Dumbo? It’s a political symbol. It’s a
symbol of strength. It dwarfs Pinocchio in the nose
department…perhaps at one point in it’s historical career it was one
heck of a liar.
How can we not wear on our lapels the icon of an animal that the
people of Tanzania thought was once a man who was cheated out of all
his limbs except for his right arm which became his trunk? How can we
not wear around our necks the image of an animal the Ashanti of Ghana
thought was a human chief from an ancient past? How can we not wear
on our wrists the image of an animal that lived in Indian myth…in
African myth…in ancient European myth…and even in biblical tales
as they relate to what is believed by some to be the Behemoth?
The elephant…as ubiquitous in mythology as it is in jewelry. Ladies
and gentlemen of my world…I bring to you…the elephant necklace…
a diamond studded procession of pav?pachyderms crossing the tropical
grasslands under the searing heat of a noonday sun. It’s a complete
herd my friends…adults and children alike…on their way to who
knows where …a steady stream parading its majesty for the world to
see as they hang elegantly on the neck of that beautiful creature
called Woman. For those of you who are new to this thing called
Tidbits…may I direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com
where you will scroll down the table menu till you get to the box
that says Tidbits…and inside the box where it says Tidbit
Graphics…click on the link that says: Elephant…where you will see
a rendering of our diamond pav?pachyderms.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
TYLER-ADAM CORP.–Jewelry Manufacturers
E-Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org