Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tribes Competition Challenge: Nomad

It's now time for my third reveal... The Nomad Tribe!

The primary colors for this kit, as you could probably guess, were red and black:

And yes, as in my two previous entries, those pictures are from the official listing on the Allegory Gallery website. They take such good photos, why mess with a good thing? :)

Seeing those materials, I started to think about the aesthetic I wanted to use for the Nomads... And, after some playing around, I came up with this:

A knotted necklace! 

...One that utilizes most of the beads from the design kit, as well as the handmade pendant that was included.

While designing for the Nomad Tribe, I decided to shy away from metal as much as I could... Instead, using materials and techniques that might be more readily available to a people on the move. (I would imagine that carrying around metal-working equipment might not be the most efficient way to travel.)

And so, I knotted everything on the waxed linen that came with the kit. 

Yes, everything--including the earrings.

The pattern of beads is random. In my mind (since I'm coming up with Tribe stories to go with the pieces that I make), I imagined that they were added one at a time over a long stretch of time, knotted in place to commemorate things important to the wearer--different places visited on their travels, different life events, even just simple happy memories... Like a wearable journal, and an easily portable keepsake. (They are nomads, after all!)

Now as you could imagine, that set took up almost all of the beads that came in the design kit. 

...But there's still more!

While this next set isn't technically part of the challenge (absolutely nothing I used in it was part of the kit!), I wanted to include it because it was definitely inspired by this challenge.

And besides, I had an adorable brecciated jasper carved bear that I wanted to use in the first necklace, but just couldn't get it to work (not quite the right shade of red). I took it as an excuse to make this set:

Red and black!
...Just different shades than the previous set.

This set is made with leather, copper-rose colored pearls, brecciated jasper, copper, and black shell. Oh, and a carved stone claw. (I think it's supposed to be a bear claw? Looking at reference pictures, it's not an exact match. If I'm connecting it to the Nomad Tribe, I'll just say it's the claw of a fantastical predator that they might encounter on their journey.)

Oh, I did use metal in this set--and some wire-wrapping--but I attempted to keep it fairly simple. Again, nothing too elaborate or time consuming for a people on the move.

And a quick disclaimer... Obviously this set shares some similarity with already existing cultural aesthetics (another reason I'm considering it inspired by this challenge, and not an actual part of the challenge), but I tried to keep my designs different enough--and the symbols generic enough--as to not step on any toes. Hopefully I did all right in that regard! (The anthropologist in me makes me want to be very careful and respectful of other people's cultures, after all... cultural appropriation is never my intent.)

So, there you go! A set for the Nomad Tribe--and a set inspired by the Nomad Tribe. That concludes today's
 third reveal... which means that I have two more to go! Woo! Time to get some coffee and get to work!

Next up: the Coast Tribe!


  1. Beautiful collection here! Love the bear necklace :)

  2. I really love your pieces, including those inspired by the challenge. I (again) love how you put such thought into it, like what nomads would have available and be able to take along.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! :)