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Brown Haired Girl Necklace

Brown Haired Girl Necklace   The Brown Haired Girl Necklace includes:
*Pakistan Marble tarantula by Zuni carver Fabian Tsethilkai
*Pietersite, pearls, iron tiger eye
*Seed beads
*Sterling beads and findings
*Love beads
*Signed, numbered, dated

Length:  17" - 23" (43 cm - 58 cm)
Weight:  2.3 oz (64 gm)

Photo: Melinda Holden

  Item #443                       SOLD
So far no one who has seen this necklace has realized that the centerpiece is a sweet little tarantula. The carver chose perfect material to match the hairy mygalomorphs (really, the "Brown Haired Girl" belongs to a group of spiders known as hairy my-gal-omorphs!) that make their homes in the dry desert-like areas of the US. Most spiders have eight eyes and Fabian has inlaid all eight in turquoise. I made tiny sterling spider overalls to attach her to the necklace with a cutout so the artist's signature can be seen on her tummy.

I know I've already lost most readers so I'll forge ahead. If you aren't lucky enough to have tarantulas in your area, you may not realize they are relatively small creatures at least compared to the bird-eating quarter pounder found in South America. Of course our brown tarantula is a lot bigger than your everyday house spider, the ones I see all the time are roughly 3-4 inches in diameter and the San Diego Natural History Museum field guide says they can reach 5 or 6 inches. It also says captive females have reached 40 years old.

Tarantulas have spinnerets but do not make webs. Instead they spend most of their time in burrows. Scientists have recently discovered that in addition to producing silk from the spinnerets, they also secrete it from their feet and this enables them to scale vertical surfaces, even panes of glass. Normally they seem to rely on the weak molecular attraction called the van der Waals forces generated by the tiny hairs on their feet, a strategy similar to the strategy geckos use. However, if the tarantula starts to slip, it squirts out a tiny bit of silk to improve its traction. This discovery is forcing science to reconsider how silk making arose. There is speculation that the spinnerets are vestigial legs. Don't you find all this utterly fascinating?

Tarantulas are quite docile and hard to irritate, but they are able to defend themselves. Although they rarely bite humans and their bite is considered non-toxic, you may wonder about the bald spot on their tummies. When confronted by something threatening, the spider will rub its hind legs over its body and brush off the irritating hairs right onto its attacker. There is another reason I don't recommend you pick up a tarantula: Did you know you that if you drop her she may break? That would be awful. And take note gardeners: the brown tarantula eats pill bugs!

Anyone living in tarantula country has probably seen the gigantic tarantula hawk, technically a Pepsis wasp. It is a very large shiny black wasp with bright red-orange wings. A serious and determined hunter, it systematically searches burrows and is most interesting to watch. It lays a single egg in a paralyzed spider, reminiscent of the scene in Star Wars where Han Solo was going to be thrown down into that hole in the desert...

Neither Cushing nor McManis mentions tarantulas. The Medicine Cards give spider "weaving" which does not apply directly to our tarantula who does not make a web. Ted Andrews discusses tarantulas in both Animal Speak and Animal Wise noting their extreme sensitivity to vibrations and their teaching us to be sensitive to subtle activities in the environment. He mentions the female's molting behavior and says tarantula may suggest it is time to shed the old. The pietersite beads may help with this as one of pietersite's key attributes is self-transformation.

The Element Encyclopedia of 20,000 Dreams mentions that Freud believed that dream spiders represent the devouring mother. No wonder they seem so fearful to us! Like many little girls, I was socialized to be very afraid of spiders. I was fortunate to meet a crazy woman once who told me she also was afraid of them until she started talking to them. It's amazing how our fear of a stranger can evaporate when we get to know them by holding a sincere conversation with them. The Dreams book recommends this too. It says to hold the spider in your mind and ask her searching questions.

Please give this pretty little girl a home, let her remind you to be sensitive to subtle energies and teach you to not be afraid. And who knows? She might even answer your searching questions.

LOVE BEADS: This piece includes "love beads," beads given to me after the fire by friends and strangers. The necklace carries the energy of their loving concern.

One-of-a-kind, subject to prior sale

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