ABATAKA: Fashioned Bracelets that are also Lifelines

SHUTTLE SPINDLE & DYEPOTI’m not a jewelry person, but gemstone and natural beads bracelets are intriguing to me. I came across an interesting article about Mary Fisher Bracelets in Shuttle Spindles & Dyepot Winter 2007/2008 issue (hard copy) and I am attracted to the bracelets right away. After reading it, I am impressed with the works that Mary Fisher has done as the article read,

Mary Fisher Bracelets: With gemstone, horn, and bone beads, HIV-positive African women have fashioned bracelets that are also lifelines: the sale of the bracelets helps the women feed, clothe, and educate their families. The bracelet project’s architect is Mary Fisher-artist, author and a longtime Convergence participant.

As an ambassador of the United Nations’ HIV/AIDS PROGRAM, Ms. Fisher travels the world advocating for those who share her HIV-positive status. Convinced that “women who share poverty and AIDS can be empowered only by employment,” Ms. Fisher sought ways to create a livelihood for women in Zambia, a southern Africa nation where one in six people is HIV-positive. A noted fiber artist who has long worked with beads, Ms. Fisher designs bracelets and travels regularly to Zambia to train women to make them. The jewelry collection, fashioned from more than twenty varieties of gemstones and beads, is called ABATAKA, an African term that means “community, belonging.” All profits from the bracelets are returned to the women who make them. Ms. Fisher has high hopes for the project: “…that ten years from now, or twenty, if I am still alive, I will still be designing jewelry, still seeing it produced by my business-partner-sisters.” The bracelets are available at

My favorite piece is the Yellow Opal.


Opal: This gemstone takes its name from the Sanskrit word upala meaning precious stone, as well as the Greek word opallios, change of color. In ancient Rome it was called opalus.

Opal has been called the “stone of visionaries”. The Greeks believed that it had powers of prophecy. The Romans saw it as a symbol of hope. Opal attracts inspiration, insight, and stimulates a wider vision. Some believe it enhances clairvoyant abilities.

The ABATAKA Collection offers 29 bracelets at US$145.00 each, plus shipping and handling.

amazonite amethyst

  • Amazonite (left) – Amethyst (right)

aventurine blue-chalcedony

  • Aventurine (left) – Blue Chalcedony (right)

bone-discs-tan bone-discs-white

  • Bone discs tan (left) – Bone discs white (right)

bone-speckled-black bone-speckled-brown

  • Bone speckled black (left) – Bone speckled brown (right)

bone-white-rounds carnelian

  • Bone white rounds (left) – Carnelian (right)

citrine golden-rutile

  • Citrine (left) – Golden Rutile (right)

horn fancy-jasper-and-jade

  • Horn (left) – Fancy Jasper and Jade (right)

mookite obsidian-pebble

  • Mookite (left) – Obsidian pebble (right)

australian-opal pink-opal

  • Australian Opal (left) – Pink Opal (right)

rhodonite rose-quartz-mix

  • Rhodonite (left) – Rose Quartz mix (right)

smoky-quartz sodalite

  • Smoky Quartz (left) – Sodalite (right)

tiger-eye tourmalinated-quartz

  • Tiger Eye (left) – Tourmalinated Quartz (right)

turquoise unikite

  • Turquoise (left) – Unikite (right)

wood-jasper prehnite

  • Wood Jasper (left) – Prehnite (right)

My youngest sister makes her own gemstone bracelet; I bet you that she would love these designs.

I also love these bracelets. I find myself attracted to gemstones and I often thought that it’s because they have positive energy. I read here that “people have been attracted to gemstones since prehistoric times. While beauty plays a part in their appeal, it is their energy that has a powerful impact on us. If you like to wear crystals or place gemstones around your house, you are aware of their power. The practice of gemstone feng shui combines the wisdom of gemstones and crystals with the ancient art of feng shui to invite positive change into your life.

At its core, feng shui is a method to balance the dynamic, ever-changes forces of the natural world. Gemstones are perfect for feng shui work because they are formed through the powerful dynamic processes of nature. As a result, gemstones personify the energy of the elemental cycles that are utilized in feng shui.

Your own energy is the most important ingredient in gemstone feng shui. Open yourself to the wisdom of gemstones and they will help you transform the energy around you. Go with the flow and enjoy their magic.”

I’ll definitely need to get the Yellow Opal bracelet.  I like the idea that it’s the “stone of visionaries, that Opal attracts inspiration, insight, and stimulates a wider vision. It is also a symbol of hope; we all need that in our lives.

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