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Garlands of hands

Hand garlands

About the year 1000, the monks of Mount Athos got a black woollen knit with fifty four knots cordon and braided its two ends to a cross. They called it praying chaplet of Virgin Mary because they did prayers to the Virgin. Some called it chaplet because they used it as a prayers’ tool. Those who disdained this chaplet they called it komboskini (i.e. knit with knots cordon). But most called it komvoloi because the believer touches each knot (komvos in greek) and says (legei in greek) a prayer. The composition of the words komvo+legei spawned the name komvologion – kompoloi in demotic. It is clear that the komvologion - kompoloi has nothing to do with the garland we hold today, as this new garland is not a knit tied on knots and we do not even use it to pray. It is interesting to see how we came to say a rosary a garland that is not rosary but it is: • The path of creative imagination: It is scientifically accepted that if the beads or the silk tassel are caressed by the owner’s hand while focusing or thinking on an idea, then the body and the nervous system are relaxed! Worry beads can activate the right hemisphere of the brain, awakening vision, intuition, creative...

The prayer's garland birth

Almost all religions believe that: a strictly specific number of prayers contributes to God's decision to listen to man, to be his helper, to forgive his sins and to give him eternal life. In order for people to make a certain number of prayers without counting they made a tool! This was a garland of puddles or other beads passed into a rope.
The Indian garland Japamala

The Indian garland Japamala

According to tradition, 2500 to 2800 years ago in Northern India, a spiritual student had to say 108 prayers although he didn't know how to count. To help him say all the prayers, his master thought of piercing 108 pimples, passing them on a cord and tie the cord's ends. Thus was born the tool - garland by which we can do a specific number of prayers without count them. By this garland the praying man can say a prayer every time he touches a puddle so when the prayer man had touched all the puddles, he knew he had said the right number of prayers. This garland is considered by folklore to be the first tool to measure a certain number of prayers. The Indians call this garlad as Japamala

Religious Chaplet (Kompoloi)

About the year 1000, the monks of Mount Athos got a black woollen knit with fifty four knots cordon and braided its two ends to a cross. They called it praying chaplet of Virgin Mary because they did prayers to the Virgin. Some called it chaplet because they used it as a prayers’ tool. Those who disdained this chaplet they called it komboskini (i.e. knit with knots cordon). But most called it komvoloi because the believer touches each knot (komvos in greek) and says (legei in greek) a prayer. The composition of the words komvo+legei spawned the name komvologion – kompoloi in demotic. So the Komboloi is a garland of black woolen knotted cord, whose ends end up on a cross! As it is known, the prayer garlands exercise a kind of magic to the praying man, as he believes that a strictly specific number of prayers contributes to God's decision to listen him, to be his helper, to forgive his sins and to give him eternal life. So, they feel physical, spiritual peace, bliss, exaltation!

Turkish garlands and kompoloi

During the period of Ottoman occupation in Greece, Turkish officials were holding garlands with amber beads and thick silky tassels. Their name was desbih. They used it to relax their nervous system, to show off their wealth and as a scepter of power. Also similar scepter came to the hands of the Greek associates of the Turks, notables, lords and guerrillas. They named it tesbihi. Over the years, tesbihi disseminated across all social strata. These scepters of power in the hands of their holders, functioned as a proof of love, of friendship, an oath, as a contract, as a building permit and a stamp! It also functioned as a medium to show off Ego, as a peculiar kind of masculinity, “crafty” and power. Every person perceived this garland in terms of aesthetics, materials, structure and use, depending on his personality. So some people created garlands of high aesthetics while others held tasteless garlands ! They used either exquisite materials or worthless ones. So, some made them luxurious and sophisticated (with thick silky tassel, escutcheon, imami, amulets …) or just a passing beads cordon that tied both ends to a knot. At those years, kompoloi was widely spread, because...
Begleri beads

Begleri beads

When the underworld and the non-aligned in society people, “met” tesbihi, they were affected by it and inspired their own garland. They put 16 beads in a strand, tied it at both ends and hung there anything someone desired. Some used one bead, others put two beads or a cross or a charm. The beads were from casual materials. They twirled this garland in their hand like an airplane’s propeller. Once clockwise and once counter-clockwise. Then they would stop the rotations and knock some of the beads on the other. This garland was named begleri beads because they did it with raffish gesture like the gamers of tavli shake the dice in their hands (verb beglerao). Today it is called kompoloi. The Greek youngsters of the 80’s created their own object to keep their hands busy. It was a strand about 15 cm long, that they had put two beads. They would put it between their fingers, shook their hand and thus forced the beads to knock on each other and heard the sounds of the collision. It was named Taka-Taka after the sound. Today it is called begleri beads. Each garland we hold either to make prayers, or to keep our hands busy, for meditation, for showing off, for prestige we call them all...
Komboloi and efhantron

Komboloi and efhantron

Our company EFHANTROΝ has created and suggests a new type of garland – jewelry that is basically used as an anxiolytic accessory without any side effects! Men, women and children of any age can keep one. This garland – jewelry is consisted of natural crystal beads full of positive energy, of silver and golden elements. It’s a work of Art expressing the Greek aesthetics, culture and civilization. It has been created by the artist Tasos Thomaidis. Tasos Thomaidis named his creation εύχαντρον (efhantron). The word means beads that are pleasant. It’s a compound word that consists of the word εύ (ef) =anything good or pleasant, and the word χάντρα (hantra)=bead. When he “came across” with the prayer beads (worry beads or komboloi in Greek) he was impressed and the result was to make pieces of jewelry – efhantra. He was inspired by the Greek traditional designs that with his talent he tranformed and applied in the accessories and combined them with natural and precious materials. We believe that our approach to the traditional komboloi, converts it into a special object which may function as: • A medium for artistic expression, expressing aesthetic concerns and using many different...

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