Hi, we're Helle and Linn - two blonde Scandinavian girls who've just embarked on our jewelry business voyage, aaaaand..
Yeah well, we could definitely keep you occupied reading our personal "about us" stories for the rest of the day, but meh.. they're honestly kinda boring. So let's focus on the story behind Black Buddha Jewelry.
So, what constitutes a good story?
You remember when you were a kid, right? Losing yourself in fairytales and fantasy books like Narnia and shit? Falling asleep mid-sentence, drool all over your pillow and dreaming of flying dragons and serial swordfights aplenty?
Well, both the Balinese and the Norsemen definitely had that in common. Pretty epic stories, myths and folklore passed down through generations for us to devour and dream about, like back when we were kids.
Some of these stories were told to Helle and I personally while we were visiting our local friends in Bali. Some of the stories have been passed down in my family as direct descendants of Harald Hairfair, the first king of Norway. The stories were probably jazzed up a bit, but they say storytelling is an art. And we were entertained.
The concept of Black Buddha Jewelry came to life through the merge of these stories and legends. It may seem like a random fusion, but there are quite a few similarities once you have a close look.
Much like Newton postulated centuries ago - that for every action, there is an equal opposite reaction - the Balinese believe that there are two opposing forces that are required to maintain universal balance. This concept is called "rwa bhineda", which literally means “two opposites”.
As an agrarian society, nature is never far from the life of the Balinese. The ancient concept of "Palemahan" encompasses our responsibilities towards nature and teaches compassion towards lesser beings. It is a reminder that we are not alone on this planet; we’re sharing it with nature.
However, nature is not just the physical and the tangible. The Balinese believe that nature is the dwelling of both good and evil, and that you must please and appease both the gods and the demons. Everything exists as a duality, and it is the existence of this duality that brings a cosmic balance to the universe.
According to the philosophies, good and evil are inseparable. To understand one, you must have experienced the other. Heaven and hell, high and low, branches and roots.. Life is all about balance.
Hence the name, Black Buddha, which denotes the merge of darkness and light.
Similarly, nature and harmony play a big role in the Norse mythology, with a lot of their spiritual beliefs being based on the natural world.
Like many of the ancient cultures from around the world, the Norse had a strong and robust belief in the spirits of nature, stressing the harmony of the natural world and the search for harmony in the life of individuals. Much like the Balinese, balance is the essence.
The Ancient Norse also believed in a world clearly divided between good and evil. Good and evil were equally balanced and it was the struggle to keep things balanced that is at the essence of the Norse mythology.
Generally, the giants in Norse mythology represented chaos and negativity, and the gods and goddesses needed to contend with them in order to keep balance. Gods and giants kept each other in check, like the more familiar yin-yang concept in Taoism. One cannot, and should not, defeat the other.
But what does all of this have to do with jewelry?
Much like the ancient Norsemen, beauty is important to the Balinese. It is a gift to the Gods. This is why the workmanship is remarkable and why Bali is said to be home to the world’s best gold and silversmiths.
The workmanship and artistry of Bali is unique, detailed and high quality. They value the love and time that is invested in these pieces, the stories the art tells, and the traditions of the island people.
To sum it all up
We fell in love with these stories, and we fell in love with Bali and their outstanding craftsmanship. And what better way to share these stories with the world than by communicating them through the artisanship that is at the core of both the Balinese and the Norse history?
We truly hope that you fall as much in love with the jewelry and the stories behind as we have.