Yay! The latest addition to my earring collection arrived this weekend!
They come from the creative hands of MaRia A. Bird, the owner of Mea B'fly Designs. The name of her small business is a combination of Mea, a childhood nickname short for MaRia, and B'fly, short for butterfly "in honor of my late great grandmother and giver of all that is special and cherished by me - family and self."
Mea comes from a small community on the western edge of the Navajo Nation and northern edge of the Hopi reservation. She stated, "My creation and traditional upbringing began on the geographical border of my identity - Dine' and Hopi - ironically but luckily. Twenty something years later here I am a proud Native American woman, strong, married, instictivly motherly, humbly spoken, humanly hearted, creatively skilled, and infinitely linked to the roots of Mother Earth."
Each graphic print is made by Mea, starting with a focal background photograph that she elaborates with other design elements. The graphic prints are then adhered to a stained balsa wood piece and topped off with surgical steel earring hooks and jump rings. The are lightweight and glossy.
I settled on the Sakura Mano Cherry Blossom Girl 2" teardrop set (above). And I wore them yesterday to teach my class on arts of the Native American Southwest, and we actually talked about the Hopi butterfly hairstyle, too. Rock out, fashion that's relevant to a college course lecture!
This image (above) is of Hoo-n-ym-pka (Hopi) taken in 1901. She wears turquoise mosaic earrings, a necklace of glass seed beads and a traditional black manta. Her butterfly hairstyle is typical of postpubescent, unmarried Hopi women. This is the image that I show in class when we're talking about jewelry of the Southwest, but we also get to talk hairstyles.
These are the earrings as I wore them yesterday. They are subtly awesome, and look pretty keen with a nice white blouse... if you ask me.
Find Mea B'fly on Etsy. Support. Represent.