• The Royal Gemstone of KEMET

    Posted by Hanna Wagari

    Lapis lazuli is among the earliest gemstones used as early as the 4th millennium BC.  The Egyptians utilized lapis lazuli stone in artwork, amulets, jewelry, ornaments and cosmetics.

    The KEMET Royalty Collection is inspired by the ancient Egyptians. The collection is designed and handcrafted by artisans steeped in decades of tradition and craft to create gorgeous art jewelry pieces in 18K gold vermeil and lapis gemstone.

    Lapis was also used in their religion. Amulets of deities inlaid with lapis lazuli were made of Osiris, Horus, Maat, Tet, Ra, Baste, Ibis and the goddess ISIS. They truly believed in the metaphysical powers of lapis.  According to Ancient Egyptian myth, the sun (Ra) rolls across the sky each day and transforms bodies and souls.  They believed that Lapis’ gold flecks were like stars in their night-time sky and by meditating on these colors the ancient Egyptians believed that supernatural forces would transform their lives.  In the dry, barren land of the Egyptians, this deep cobalt blue color was both a physical and spiritual contrast to their arid desert pallets.

    The garments of priests and royalty were dyed with Lapis to indicate their status as gods themselves.  To present day, Lapis Lazuli’s deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. It is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth.

    The dung beetle which laid eggs that transformed into larva were seen as an earthly symbol of the heavenly cycle of sun and rebirth. Popular at the time, the scarabs were usually carved from Lapis Lazuli, as its deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision.

    Egyptian High Priests used lapis lazuli also for healing purposes.  They grounded lapis into powder and swallowed to prevent gallstones.  Egyptians also used lapis to prevent sleeplessness and melancholy or fever, as well as an ingredient for eyewash.

    Queens

    Queen Hetepherus (2600-2500 B.C) had lapis into silver casings for bracelets, ankles and necklaces.  Queen Iput had a beetle pendant of lapis.  Queen Seneity had a lapis of ovoid beads with discs of gold, carnelian and green feldspar.  Queen Nefruhad also a tomb at Thebes containing lapis beads and Queen Ashotep (1650-1567 B.C) owned a diadem crown of lapis, gold, carnelian and feldspar.

    Kings

    Kings wore pectoral necklaces of lapis and other stones.  King Tutankhamen wore a scarab bracelet of lapis symbolizing the Sun God.  Elaborate pectorals of Lapis Lazuli, carnelian and also gold covered the pharaohs Osorkon’s chest, while rings and bracelets of the same combination also adorned his arms and fingers.  Lapis scarabs were buried in his wrappings, a large one on his heart.

    So prized was this gemstone, that at Karnak, the relief carvings of Thutmose III (1479-1429 BC) show fragments and barrel-shaped pieces of lapis lazuli being delivered to him as tribute. King Ramses (1292 B.C) required lapis as a tribute.

    Since no mines of lapis exist in Egypt so it is believed that the stone then reached Egypt along the trade routes from Meroe and Afghanistan.

    Mombasa is proud to launch the KEMET Royalty Collection, honoring the ancient African kings & Queens and our collective heritage.

    Love & Light,

    Hanna & Regbe

     

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  • Black Panther: Representation Matters

    Posted by Hanna Wagari

    Black Panther was just released on DVD and I don’t know if my space is even worthy of having such greatness grace my media console. I’m still greeting other chocolate folks with the Wakandan salute. This movie made me extremely emotional. I could barely even speak or articulate my thoughts when I walked out of the theater; and I was definitely upset that I had to go to work the next day. I felt like I needed a day to process what I was privy to experience and the emotions I felt.

    Black Panther was more than just a movie filled with black people, beautiful black people (hey Winston!). It was an outward showcase of how some of us view the continent. There were so many layers of culture to be unearthed with each scene. I have never thought of Africa as this desolate, third world continent with too many issues to count. I have always visualized it through a lens that resembled Wakanda. Diverse, intelligent, beautiful, witty, strong, resilient people is how I see Africa and to see that depicted on screen gave me chills. It was like all my dreams of positive, beautiful, and complex black characters had finally come to life on the big screen and I had a hard time coming to grips with my sheer excitement.

    The movie had a positive feel. Even when conflicts arose, I still felt a great sense of pride and happiness with what I was watching.  Tradition was a big theme throughout the movie. Even with Eric B. Jordan’s character Killmonger character causing an uproar, the people still maintained tradition. Danai Gurira’s character Okoye was clearly against the new king, but her loyalty was to the throne and the king. She was even willing to kill her love to ensure she performed her duties. Healthy relationships that include conflict. Seeing the relationships between Chadwick Boseman’s character T’Challa and Lupita Nyong’o character Nakia; Okoye and Daniel Kaluuya character W’kabi was great for people to see. Not every relationship is going to be perfect, as we saw in this movie. It was nice to see black relationships seen in a normal way and as equals with the freedom to make difficult decisions.

    It is known, even if some do not want to acknowledge that Africa has long been and still is a great resource for natural resources but also intellectual assets. People from other continents came to Africa to learn about astrology and math. People of color have been noted to be advanced in these areas and that was depicted with Letitia Wright character, Shuri and the advancements within Wakanda. Wakanda represented to me what Africa could have become if there was no outside force to cause the lingering trauma that has stunted her growth to this moment. There is so much potential within the continent, but it must be actualized and acted upon. There is such pride within this imaginary place because this is how many of us envision Africa resembling had she not been pillaged and misused by the colonizers and greed in general. The technological advances existed within the culture and did not change tradition. It assisted in how they lived, but did not change their dealings with tradition, nature, and cultural ways.

    Representation matters. Period. It gave me the chills to see women who looked like me and were stunning. They were strong innately. Their strength and confidence was not seen as aggression. When they expressed their thoughts, it was not seen as anger. There was no ‘angry black woman’ label in this film. These women were just strong because they were multifaceted human beings like everyone else. That was refreshing and uplifting. No over sexualization of the black body, male or female (though the men in this film were quite wonderful to look at). We did not get a more in depth look at the community, but each tribe played their part and worked together. It was refreshing to see a vibrant community.

     Black Panther made me proud. It made me happy for my community. It made me happy for the culture. I hope we can harness the positivity and pride brought about by this film and create change within our communities. Wakanda can exist. We just need to put in the work.

     WAKANDA FOREVER!

    By Amanda White

    Amanda is a registered nurse and lifestyle blogger with a love for DIY and living her best life. She likes to think of herself as a multi-passionate woman. She loves diy, travel, food and helping patients own their healthcare experience. "I just want us all to realize we can live our best lives, no matter what your starting point may be. It's time to start living!"

    IG: @_wellhellopanda
    Twitter: @hellopandaLA
    Facebook: wellhellopanda

     

     Angela Bassett wearing Mombasa Nzinga Drop Hoop Earrings

     

     https://www.newstimes.com/news/media/Angela-Bassett-talks-Black-Panther-role-and-1165120.php?jwsource=cl

     

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  • The SAFARI Collection Handmade in Kenya!

    Posted by Hanna Wagari

    Mombasa is a social enterprise that collaborates with artisans in developing countries to promote their creativity, pay fair wages and give them access to international markets.  The SAFARI Collection is one such partnership with talented artisans in Kenya.

    The SAFARI Collection is designed with the global consumer in mind.   The Swahili word safari means journey, and we want to take your on a journey with us from Nairobi to Mombasa.  We curated a selection of versatile necklaces and earrings all made from locally sourced recycled brass.  Each piece is handcast, simple and ethically sourced and can be mix-and-matched to appeal to the urban woman.  From bold and chunky to unisex style necklaces, the collection is inspired by geometric shapes and nature to deliver a strong yet minimal aesthetic.

    Mombasa's mission has always been to redefine luxury as handmade or hand-touched goods, with a vision to collaborate with artisans around the world and break the cycle of poverty by paying a fair wage.  We believe that when artisan entrepreneurs are given opportunity, their families benefit and their communities flourish.

    We are proud to present to you our new SAFARI Collection; a new kind of luxury that is handmade, ethical fashion at accessible prices.

    Love & Light,

    Hanna & Regbe

     

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  • OC Fashion Week, LA Fashion Showcase and CuffLinks Fashion Show and Soiree

    Posted by Hanna Wagari

    It has been an incredibly busy Fashion Week season for Mombasa these past few months.

    Mombasa recently participated in Day 3 OC FASHION WEEK® f/w17; presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach. Tatiana Shabelnik brought her globally inspired collection “Contrast” to the runway. The show took place at Soka University’s Founders Hall and wowed the audience. We were honored to introduce our couture jewelry collection to the fashion audience and industry insiders. 

     

    Mombasa and fashion designer Tatiana Shabelnik teamed again for a great cause at the American Heart Association Charity Event on April 1st in Beverly Hills at the LA Fashion Showcase "Rock the Red" Event.

     

     

    On April 29th, Mombasa sponsored the CuffLinks Red Carpet Soirée at “Float” Hard Rock & Fashion Show with designer Lisseth Corrao in downtown San Diego.  The event raised money and awareness for pediatric cancer.

    Hats off to these beautiful ladies for making our jewelry designs come alive!

     

    Love & Light,

    Hanna

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  • The Lalibela Cross - An Amazing Story!

    Posted by Hanna Wagari

     I've been wanting to share my story about the necklace, but have been traveling quite a bit. So am finally home for a few days so here we go ...

    On my flight to London the unthinkable happened, a passenger passed away. The crew were sent into immediate panic and the pilot turned the plane around half way over the Atlantic and landed in a remote air field in Canada amidst snow and pine tree's. There was more attention paid to the deceased passenger than to his poor wife who was numb from shock. I went to the back of the plane where she had been sitting on the galley floors for hours with him and I removed my necklace and handed it to her. I told her to put it around her neck, hold the cross and pray. I sat with her as she sobbed and kept asking why this happened. Eventually the pilot came back to speak with her, so I returned to my seat. But before doing so, I gave her my UK phone number and address and said if she needed anything to get in touch with me never thinking I would see my necklace again. A week later I received a call from her saying she was helped so much from holding the cross and feeling its healing powers. She slept at night clenching it to her heart asking for strength. She was amazed at how strong she had become over just a few days, enough to make arrangements to bring her husband back to England and plan his farewell with her family. She sent the necklace back to me with flowers asking if I can continue to pray for her. Which I have done since it being back in my possession. Your pieces are not just objects of art and beauty, they have the power to transmit divine healing powers. I keep thinking how ironic it was that I wore this necklace for protection on my journey back to England and it ended up helping a woman who was plunged into the worst nightmare anyone can think of. One lasting comment she made holding the necklace ..... my husband is 39,000 miles closer to heaven. I feel God's presence and I know he is taken care of and I will be too.

     Your creations are a very special blessing. May love, joy and happiness be yours in abundance this holiday season.

     Namaste x

     Karen

    This was a testimonial from one of our customers about the SABA Beaded Cross Necklace.

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