Real dried animal bones, horns made into unique statement jewelry

Photo by Art Torres

By Rose de la Cruz 

Silnag (an Ilocano term for sun’s rays) Jewelry makes use of real bones of carabaos, buffalos and even tree barks for pendants, bracelets and other decorative headwear and body accessories. 

Owned by Enida Danao, a Kankanaey from Benguet, the products her company would sell in the coming International Bazaar on November 26 at the PICC Forum 1, 2, 3 grounds are recycled bones from carabaos and cows (more known as bulalo bones) that are refined, processed and shined to be used as pendants or bracelets. 

She normally sells them at Rustan’s, Rockwell and other posh stores in the country and exports them. 

She designs all of them. She started the business in 2004 and found such interest from her grandmother. Since she was young, she said, she was already making jewelry out of branches. Her company just seems to revive what she used to do as a child. Their culture includes kanyao where they butcher a lot of carabaos and instead of throwing the bones or bury them under the soil, she polishes and designs them into fashionable pieces. 

Her talent is raw because she never had the means to enrol in a design school. But seeing them, they are very fashionable and vogue. 

She also sells “barok” (unpolished and uncultured) pearls, which are actually more pricey in the real market. But she prefers to sell them in their current un-refined state because there really is a market for it, she explained. 

The barok pearls are so imperfect with corners and edges jutting out from the most unlikely places and this is what is usually called as “anak ng perlas.” The barok pearl necklace sells for P7, 000; and the albino carabao (a rarity) pendant is at P2,500. 

She also has carabao hide that can be converted into different decorative pieces for the table tops and even jewelry item. Her grandmother used to even make decorative jewelry from snake vertebrate. 

In the website of Silnag Horn Jewelry, the company says it provides livelihood to local artisans and helps save mother Earth by recycling what would otherwise be dumped in landfills.

 The jewelry are unique statement pieces made from organic, natural raw materials like Philippine Water Buffalo horns, cow bones, shells, scrap wood and seeds. 

The materials are by products of food and farm trade so no animals are harmed for the purpose of obtaining these materials. None of the materials used are included in the prohibitive list of CITES (or the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species).

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Monday, 09 December 2019
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