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Photographer's Note

A "komboloi". The "evolution" of the Catholic Rosario, the Orthodox "komboskoini", the Islamic "Tesbih". Not counting prayers, just "counting" thoughts, both pleasant and sad ones. Sometimes just counting, seconds, minutes, hours. A greek "invention" for "killing time"! The greek "revolution" in these strings of beads, came when the Greeks decided to create "space" for the beads, to move up and down, freely, like "dancing", creating a beautiful sound! A great companion!!!

The number of the beads in the Greek komboloi varies (unlike the rosario, tesbih or komboskoini, where the number of beads is specific, because they are used for counting prayers), but it has to be an odd number. Most common number of beads are 21,17,25,33.

There are different materials from which a komboloi can be made of. Amber, amber-like materials (for example blends of burs of amber, other resins and bakelite, among them some very rare and expensive blends known as "Faturan" and "Sudurus" or "Mastic"), black corals ("yusuri"), red corals, wood, semi precious stones, animal bones, horns, etc. Depends on the "taste" of the owner. A komboloi has to satisfy 3 basic senses of the onwer, the sight, the touch, and the hearing.

The most popular and beloved material is amber (the most expensive, also), in greek "κεχριμπάρι" ("kehribari"), in ancient greek "ήλεκτρον" ("ilektron"), from which "ηλεκτρισμός" ("ilektrismos"="electricity") comes from. Most of the amber available worldwide comes from the regions around the Baltic Sea. This particular one in the photo is made from rare burmanese amber. The feel of amber is really unique, and for the komboloi owners is more precious than gold or any diamond!

Someone can have as many "kombolois" he likes, but he can only have one "personal" komboloi of his own, which he can't share with any other, no other hands but the owner's can touch "his own private komboloi". Believe me, the "bond" is very strong! You can tell a lot about someone's character from the way he holds and "plays" with his komboloi!!!

You can find contradictory informations and opinions about komboloi, about where it came from, when it started, about the materials, etc. but that's part of its beautiful mystery. Below you can find a link with info:

www.komboloi.org

***WORKSHOP 1***- A "komboloi" from black coral ("Yusuri"). When it gets wet it smells like the sea.

***WORKSHOP 2***- A "komboloi" made of goat horn. Quite psychedelic!

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Additional Photos by Hercules Milas (Cretense) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5327 W: 74 N: 16998] (68709)
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