Please visit my new Etsy store for a colorful selection of ghost bead necklaces handmade by a dear friend in the Navajo (Diné) Nation. Made from the seeds of juniper (cedar) trees after the fruit has withered away, they are meant protect against illness, evils, and nightmares.
To make them, she looks for trees that produced good seeds, where birds have pecked out one end of them. Sometimes it takes a bit of searching to find a good tree. Then she uses a leather needle to punch out the opposite end and cleans the inside of the beads. She strings them generously on 15-18” strands with tiny glass beads interspersed, and an absolutely gorgeous rainbow of color options.
I love my ghost beads, a string of which I received from her last fall to protect me in my own journey back to health. I think they make great gifts for that purpose. I like to wear mine doubled up and clasped in the back. As for men, at my healing ceremony, a Navajo cousin took my husband aside and told him the correct way for him to wear it was as a single, long strand outside the shirt or collar.
These are one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces. Purchasing a necklace supports my friend’s family, and above all her beautiful beadwork. Thanks so much!