Culture is represented in many ways, capturing the essence of a period, place, and presence. One way that cultures survive the passage of time is through physical items that hold symbolic meaning within them. Our visual culture is apparent in the things we wear, and jewelry is a time-honored part of this human tradition. The online shop Namik is sharing the Indigenous artisans whose work is the soul of Mexico. Its offerings are handcrafted by these creatives. The jewelry is inspired by a legend or belief from Mayan and Aztec cultures, and/or the personal stories—of self-love, success, and bravery—about the artisans themselves.
Namik, which is run by partners who wish to remain anonymous, views these tales as being an important component of the store’s products. “We believe that these stories and emotions are imbued in each piece of jewelry, making them amulets that remind us every day of the love and beauty that surrounds us,” Namik tells My Modern Met. “Our social mission is to preserve and share the history and culture of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, as well as to empower Indigenous artisans from Mexico.”
One of Namik’s partners hails from a mining town in Mexico where countless families have earned a living creating silver jewelry. “My father taught me this art form, just as his father taught him before,” they write. “Unfortunately, our community suffered the scourge of slavery for many years in the past, which has had a lasting impact on the dreams and aspirations of our people, especially regarding their artistic work. To remedy this, we are striving to teach them how to break away from this limiting mindset and instead promote a culture of collaboration and communal support, rather than one of competition.”
Namik’s gorgeous pieces include rings, bracelets, and pendant necklaces designed with motifs found in the Indigenous cultures that are being honored. The pieces are available on the Namik Etsy shop and its independent online store.