Tales and Legends of the Black Pearl
For centuries, the island of Tahiti evoked a mythical paradise. Today, one of nature’s magnificent creations grew in the turquoise-colored lagoons of these islands and atolls. That creation is Tahitian black pearl, jewel of the sea, a living symbol of purity and perfection. Long before Westerners discovered Tahiti, the black pearl had a reputation for exceptional value and rarity, enhanced by its use in Jewelry of the world’s Royalty and Nobility. As such, natural black pearl was known as the “Pearl of Queens” and the “Queen of Pearls”, its wonder inspiring many questions among people, centuries ago. But their lack of scientific precision led them to improvise with legend and poetry. Thus, ancient Chinese believed that Pearls were conceived in the brains of dragons.
In imperial China, natural black pearl was regarded as a symbol of wisdom. As such, it was guarded between the teeth of a dragon. Hindu writers linked Pearls with clouds, elephants, snakes, wild boars, fish and sometimes oysters. Greeks and Romans thought Pearls were born from a drop of rain or dew having collected by oysters. Persians believed that an imperfect pearl was due to a thundering sky. A more colorful version says Pearls result from the meeting of a rainbow with the earth.
In the Orient, Pearls are associated with the tears of angels, mermaids or mythical nymphs. Ceylon legend tells how the tears of Adam and Eve created a lake that gave birth to pearls –white or pink pearls from Eve’s tears, and more precious and rare grey and black pearls from Adam’s tears. Why the difference? Man knows better how to control his emotions, according to the legend. Therefore, his tears are more valuable. According to ancient Polynesian legends handed down from one generation to the next, Oro, Polynesian god of war and peace, came down to earth, on a rainbow to offer a special type of pearl oyster to mankind.
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