In this article, we will consider such an amazing subject as a kauri shell. What magical properties it is endowed with, a symbol of what it is, and what interesting facts related to this shell, the story contains.
In the mythological representations of many peoples of the world, the sea shell is identified with the feminine. This is largely due to the external similarity of the shell and female external genitalia. This symbolism gives the mollusk a connection with concepts such as fertility and conception. The depths of the sea, from which the shell originates, also symbolize the source of origin of all forms. Coming out of the water, saturated with its memory, energy and knowledge, sea shells carry a powerful magical charge. Shells, along with sea inhabitants and pearls, are attributes of a water deity - the goddess of fertility.
Among all other sea shells, the kauri shell has gained particular popularity. It received its name in honor of the goddess Kauri. The shell symbolizes the generating principle of the mother goddess.
As a reviving symbol, the use of these shells has begun since ancient times. And to this day, this attribute is appreciated in many countries of the world. In India, for example, a shell is used as a protective amulet against the evil eye. In Egypt and the Middle East, shells are used as talismans to attract good luck, health and fertility. On the islands of the Pacific Ocean, the kauri are also endowed with magical power that carries the energy of rebirth.
Kauri (shell). Magical properties
There is another opinion that the use of these shells as amulets originates from the existence of the snake cult in ancient times. Kauri really has some similarities with the head of this reptile, who opened his mouth. Traces of veneration of the snake have been preserved among many peoples, for example, in Central Asia. Among the Turks, the kauri shell has been known as a talisman since ancient times. Very often, this amulet was used to protect children from diseases and the evil eye. For these purposes, shells were sewn on children's hats. It was believed that if an unkind person wants to “jinx” a child, the kauri will draw his attention to himself and hold his gaze on himself, distracting and forcing him to lose his direction and strength.
Cowry shells as cash equivalent
It is well known that the kauri shell was used as a currency in some countries, for example, in China, Africa, Japan, India and others. For the first time, shells began to be used as money in coastal areas. This is not surprising, because it was there that they were abundant. With the development of trade and navigation, the kauri significantly expanded the range of its "habitat". Her beautiful appearance contributed to the fact that she took root as a monetary unit in many countries of the world. What is characteristic is that with the advancement into the interior of the continent, the price of kauri increased significantly. In Africa, for example, shells could pay for almost any product.
Businessmen of that time noticed such a difference in the course, and used it to enrich themselves. They bought tons of this product, which was then exchanged in West Africa for valuable palm oil. Merchants from England, Holland and Portugal bought shells in India, in order to then sell them in Guinea for a triple price.
In Russia during the non-cash period, the Kauri money shell was also popular. It was called the snake head, or millstone. In Azerbaijan, the shell was used as a monetary unit until the 17th century.
During the Second World War, when the Japanese army captured the traditional place for kauri, the shores of the Indonesian islands, neighboring Dutch colonies experienced an acute shortage of currency shells. The economic life of the population was practically paralyzed. In order to somehow correct and stabilize the situation, local authorities decided to begin the search for a valuable shell on the Australian coast. The search was in vain. And then one of the authorized walkers accidentally ended up in a local department store. What was his surprise when he discovered the sought-after shells on the shelves of the store as children's toys! Thus, the Dutch voyagers did not return empty-handed. They managed to restore prosperity and stability to the people.
Is it possible to fake a kauri
Another factor why this shell has gained such popularity as a monetary unit is the inability to fake it. Why couldn't the cowrie shells be faked? Because they have a very complex shape. Especially since people had no special devices for this. All attempts to make fake shells failed. The fact that there were attempts to fake cowry shells is evidenced by shells found in different countries of the world made of stone, bone and other materials. They were given a form as close as possible to the original. However, the fact that these were not real kauri was visible to the naked eye. Kauri shells, photos of which can be seen in the article, are a unique and inimitable creation of nature.
Seashells, unique in their beauty, did not leave people indifferent both in ancient times and to this day.
Their use as a monetary unit, as a talisman against the evil eye, illnesses and misfortunes, as well as as ornaments suggests that this shell has always been popular, and at all times fulfilled its purpose. Kauri has come a long and interesting way both in the world of the monetary system and in the world of magic.