The Mano Figa -
This is an excerpt from a delightful article on the Mano Figa that was puvblished by a jewelry blogger named Danielle in 2015 & it still holds true, today. I absolutely LOVE the passion... I can feel it, in her beautiful, adoring words & I feel the same way, too. So, I wanted to share it with you. This is a little love story (history) of the Mano Figa. She says:
"I am a collector first and I choose my conquest second. The act of collecting, more than the act of possessing is what enchants me. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt, the seeking and the vanquishing. Unlike some whose collections are focused, I devour jewelry that spans time and space. In this way all of history is exposed by the process of searching. Right now, I’m steadily pillaging the world’s supply of antique Mano Figas.
The first one I saw immediately captivated me. It reminded me of Rodin sculptures and Gabriella Kiss earrings. In appearance, it was both beautiful and macabre, clearly showing the labor of its maker in the finely articulated fingers. But it is the story and symbolism that made me a devout collector.
The gesture of the thumb protruded between the pointer finger and middle finger has a variety of different meanings dating back nearly 8,000 years. In Central Asia where the term for it is rosehip, it is an obscene gesture not unlike the middle finger. It means sex in Japan, the number 5 to the Maasai, the letter ‘T’ in American Sign Language, and ‘got your nose’ to every 4-year-old I’ve ever encountered.
But the specific symbolism that gave rise to the charm that we refer to as a Mano Figa originates in Etruscan Italy. Mano means hand and Figa means fig, a slang term for female genitalia. The gesture is undeniably a reference to heterosexual sex. In ancient times it was worn as an incantation to The Goddess, a call for fertility, virility and good times (the fig also has close ties to Bacchus). They were traditionally made of silver or blood coral, sacred elements for Luna, the goddess of the moon and Venus, the goddess of the sea, respectively.
Through time and colonization, the symbol crossed the oceans with Christianity, and beginning in the early 17th century figas began to be produced in South America. Now they are commonly worn throughout Brazil and Peru as a symbol of protection against the evil eye. The obscenity of the gesture is said to distract Satan from his conquest for your soul. Because of the close ties to femininity and motherhood it is traditional in Brazil to tie a tiny black figa to a child’s wrist to ward off bad luck.
*(We just got Brazilian Figas in & they'll be available in-store, in a few days. It can take a bit to get things on the site. So, send a message if you need them!)
For all the richness and history of the mano figa, I can’t help but love them large and small, fine and primitive. Because the gesture carries such breadth of meaning it’s easy to imbue it with the significance you choose. I wear figas daily to feel a connection to my femininity, to represent my love of antiquity, and simply because they are always a good conversation starter."
Our collection of life affirming, female empowering, sexy Mano Figas is constantly in flux, as the good ones are hard to come by and they don't last long. Plus, many of the finer, antique and Karat Gold versions are only available upon request from our Secret Stash &/or Special Sources. So, if you don't see the style in the stone that you would like on the site, feel free to get in touch.
NEW MANO FIGAS are coming out in-store TODAY & on tomorrow's 1/20/22 episode of "The Pretty Party!" Interactive Jewelry Shopping Show - Live-streaming on Facebook (or, watch it through our App - available on our website). It's the Bunny's Birthday Show - "Bunnies, Baubles & Babes" The jewels will be saucey, bodacious, fluffy & femme, in honor of Barb's baby-bitch, "Bunny"s BIRTHDAY! It'll be a super-silly-fun show, with SWEET steals & deals on serious jewels! It's at 6PM EST on our Facebook Page. Follow Us, to see it in your feed. :D I hope you can Join Us!