In the late 19th century, Nemicio Cano, a stone paver in Colombia, South America, discovered major archeological artifacts from Pre-Columbian times while he was working on the land. Igniting what became a legacy of intrigue and fascination with the gold of these forebears, Nemicio and future generations of his family became guardians of this cultural history, through it resuscitating the cultural pride of their people.
Gold rained down from the sun god, the ancients believed, and working it into ornament was a path to the divine. The Cano family became students of the techniques as well as the symbols and soon were reproducing the ancient talismans using the same lost-wax casting, hammering, and bas-relief.
By 1935, the family had furnished the Gold Museum with one third of its collection. By 1970, they had founded their own museum with a major collection of Pre-Colombian stones and ceramic pieces which helped forge Colombia’s national identity.
Patricia Trujillo is the latest generation of gold-workers, designing her own unique spin on the ancient process and pieces for the Cano family. When I met Patricia and saw her stunning jewelry, I thought immediately of how these storied pieces would sizzle with our Charlotte Moss for Ibu collection of richly hued simple classic pieces. I sent images to Charlotte who selected her favorites and we had them made for you.
I love the pride and preservation that goes into each of these collars, bracelets, earrings. I love that the symbols have been culled from 9 different native groups in Colombia. I love the intense study and curiosity that has fed this generational search for lost cultural languages. I love the serendipity of a stone paver finding treasure in the dirt, and knowing it to be priceless. And then, with treasure in hand, turning to awaken his people to pride, to teach them of their remarkable spiritual history, and to offer this wealth to the rest of the world.
That’s what we all hope to do, is it not? Find treasure in the common moments and places of our lives. Hold it dear, like rain from the gods. Make it fresh with our own imagination and skill. And then, as often as we possibly can . . . celebrate it with others.
All the Best,