Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why the Q'tub?

The Q'tub is the cylinder attached to the bottom of the plaque that 
organizes the 5 strands of the necklace.  

It functions as an amulet to hold prayers written on a small piece of thin rolled paper.  However, most amulets do not open, because it is easy to lose the separate piece on the opening end.  The amulet, therefore, in and of itself, stands for the prayers (usually for protection) of the wearer.  

Some amulets (q'tub) are fabricated with the prayer inside and then are closed permanently, so whoever the wearer is from that time on, the person is carrying a prayer within the amulet. Occasionally we find minute traces of the antique paper prayer, while most of it has simply deteriorated into particles.  The bells attached to the amulet tinkle very softly with the movement of the wearer.  They are also a symbol that the wearer is protected from evil forces.  

Some necklaces will be furnished with three or five (always an odd number) such amulets hanging from the bottom strand.  If they are good workmanship, they add to the beauty of the piece of jewelry.  

The small granulated beads that separate the coral are works of art in this piece.  The application of the granules of molten silver by means of a dabber can only be done by masters of the art, especially in pieces this small.  

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