Rustic, raw and bold pieces are the name of the game for a season filled with amazing and seductive bijoux. Wrapped in ingenious craftsmanship from necklaces inspired by traditional African jewelry to horse hair earrings and even snakeskin bracelets, a decidedly tribal trend is descending over jewelry this season.
Bright colors, bold chunky pieces, lots of wood, ceramic, zebra and giraffe prints, kente cloth, batik, caftans, earth tones, flowing peasant blouses, trade beads and large statement pieces are all part of the style branded “tribal,” or sometimes “ethnic.”
You’ll also see particularly bright, zany or mixed-media pieces often marked as “tribal”.
Using “Tribal”, “Bali”, and “Ethnic”
- “Tribal silver” can mean either Hill Tribe Silver, which is beautiful artwork from the hills of Thailand, or a silver object that the maker sees as falling under the vague description “tribal.”Ask for clarification; Hill Tribe Silver truly is high-quality, beautiful artisan work.
- “Bali silver” is often used in conjunction with tribal jewelry. It’s inaccurate unless the item in question is actually from a craftsman or craftswoman in Bali.The artists have the right to keep their traditional art form proprietary to the island of Bali; “Bali-style” or “Bali loop” is a way to describe imitations.
- “Ethnic” is synonymous with “tribal,” but it correctly describes something made by OR reminiscent of a specific ethnic group.Look for assertions that the item is made by an ethnic craftsman if you want items that are authentic – though remember that how a craftsman defines authenticity is a whole different kettle of worms.
- “Ethnic-style” jewelry usually just means that the piece was inspired by a specific culture.
There is an incredible array of pieces some one of a kind done by some amazing craft and jewelry designers.