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Happy Mother's Day from GemSelect

Mask of Thuya, Great-Grandmother of King Tut

Mask of Thuya,
Great-Grandmother of King Tut

For many nations, especially the USA, Mother's Day is an important celebration in May. An old idiom states that "behind every great man, there is a great woman". However, nowadays, we would question the need for the woman to be behind the man and say that women deserve to be in the forefront, alongside the man.

Mothers or not, females are seen in various cultures as powerful creators and nurturers. Here in Thailand, teachers are seen as second mothers, and books are considered to be teachers. Therefore, mothers are present in many forms. Indeed, the word "mother" is used widely in Thai language, such as a prefix in many words; rivers are known as "mother water" or mae nam. Also, a mold or an instructor are known as "mother printer" or mae pim, and an original or archetype is a "mother model" or mae boht. This reinforces the idea of the female as an original creator.

Women as mothers are symbolized in various forms in cultures around the world. But it seems that a universal trait of mothers is that they provide, and the best known personification of this is Mother Nature, also known variously, as Mother Earth, the Earth Mother or the Mother Goddess.

Mother Nature, the goddess of fertility has existed and been worshipped for centuries in both the East and the West, from the Hindu goddess, Durga, to the Christian Mary, mother of Jesus and the Mother Goddess in international mythology. The Modern Pagan Goddess movement celebrates the female form and worships one Goddess. In Greek mythology, Gaia (also spelled Gaea), is the great mother goddess and creator.

Blue Turquoise Cabochon
Blue Turquoise from the Earth

Mother Nature is considered to be the provider of beautiful gemstones. Therefore, it is not surprising that many myths identify gemstones as female products of Mother Nature. Indeed, in local Thai gemstone folklore, there is a story of sapphires being the babies of the "mother of gems". On the other side of the world, certain Native American Indians considered green turquoise to symbolize the earth. A Navajo myth tells of the female great goddess, Estsanatlehi, first appearing in the form of a turquoise woman. In ancient Egypt, turquoise was associated with the goddess of women and mothers, Hathor, who was the mistress of many things, including joy, fertility, love, beauty, music and malachite.

In Hawaiian folklore, the earth goddess is known as Haumea. Her element is stone, since stone is believed to be the bones of the earth, and her children are said to have been born from her body parts. One of Haumea's children is the goddess Pele, who is the goddess of fire. The gemstone peridot is said to be the tears of Pele.

According to traditional Maori creation beliefs, all gods were the product of Papatuanuku, the earth mother and Ranguini, the sky father, and the first woman was made from red earth by one of their sons. She is known as Hineahuone, the earth-formed female. Since birth is associated with the earth mother in Maori culture, the placenta of a newborn Maori child would be traditionally buried in the earth.

Jade Cabochon
Jade Cabochon

Maoris prize a gemstone that is known as pounamu or greenstone, and carve it into ornaments, such as hei tiki, which are thought to be fertility symbols. One myth about this greenstone tells of a mystical being, Poutini, the pounamu guardian who fell in love with a beautiful woman called Waitaki. However, Waitaki was already married to a powerful chief who chased the wife snatcher. Knowing that he would not escape the powerful chief, Poutini transformed Waitaki into greenstone (his own essence) and laid her in a stream. To this day the stream is called Waitaki and is a known source of pounamu.

In some folklore, rocks, stones and gems are said to be the bones of Mother Earth, and great powers are attributed to these special materials. This may be the basis for some gemstone amulets and crystal healing beliefs.

We hope that mothers and females everywhere enjoyed our Mother's Day tribute to them. Whether we are mothers, female or otherwise, we can all feel the power of the female and see the awesome products of Mother Nature in natural gemstones that come from our wonderful planet Earth.

  • First Published: March-19-2015
  • Last Updated: January-23-2019
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