Whirled Planet logo Wholesale Jewelry, Textiles, Lamps and More! Whirled Planet contact info

Wholesale Jewelry: Home

Wholesale Silver Jewelry:
New Wholesale Silver Jewelry
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Necklaces
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Bracelets
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Earrings
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Rings
WholesaleSilver Jewelry: Charms
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Assortments
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Pendants

Wholesale Accents:
Wholesale Home Decor
Wholesale Star Lamps
Wholesale Asian Lanterns

About Us

Wholesale Silver Jewelry Links
Wholesale Silver Jewelry Birthstones
Flavors of India

Wholesale Jewelry Information

Hill Tribe Silver
Over 100 years ago, the Hilltribe peoples migrated south from China into what are now Burma, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. The six major tribes are the Karen (Kariang, Yang), the Hmong (Meo), the Yao (Mien), the Akha (Ekaw), the Lisu (Lisaw), and the Lahu (Mussur). The main profession of all these tribes is farming, and all of them tend to migrate whenever they feel that the soil at their present location is becoming depleted. Each tribe is distinct, with its own culture, religion, language, art, and dress.

With Thailand undergoing rapid growth, it is unclear whether these tribes will continue their traditional way of life, or whether they will be absorbed by ever-encroaching Thai society.

The Karen prefer to live in the foothills. Their bamboo houses are raised on stilts, beneath which they keep domestic animals: pigs, chickens, and buffaloes. Like all the Hill Tribes, they are skilled farmers who practice crop rotation. They also hunt for wild game with spears and crossbows, and use domesticated elephants to help clear the land.

Karen women are skilled in sewing and dyeing, and dress in white blouse-sarong combinations with colorful patterns or beads for trim. They wear their long hair tied back in a bun and covered with white scarves. The Karen are gentle, peaceful, and cooperative people who reserve their highest veneration for their ancestors and living elders.

Hill Tribe Silver is handmade by the Karen Tribe. Each piece is crafted by hand using techniques passed down from generation to generation. The mix used has a higher silver content at 95% - 99% than "sterling silver," which is 92.5%. More silver in the mix makes for a softer metal that is easier to bend and shape into the wonderful designs typical of Karen art.

Designs reflect the Karen observations of nature: bumblebees, dragonflies, stars and flowers. In addition, abstract designs like spirals, weaves and braids attach a spiritual significance when used. No two pieces are exactly alike.

Oxidation and hammer marks are part of the allure of this artisan jewelry. Explaining this to your customers will help them appreciate the work that goes into each piece and make it all the more desirable. Purchases of Hill Tribe Silver help to sustain an indigenous cultural handicraft and provides the Karen people with a reliable source of income.

(This article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally on indiasilver.com. We encourage republication but stipulate the piece be copied in its entirety with links and attribution.)

Back to index

Request a CatalogAbout UsEmail

Updated 2/17/06
888/408-0072 or 808/822-2335
or 808/822-2535 fax
If something doesn't work right, please let us know.

We are a wholesale-only wholesale silver jewelry and wholesale gift site.

© 2006 Whirled Planet, Inc. All rights reserved.