Coral is considered auspicious and is worn in the necklace by almost all the women of Kumaon and among the Tibetans as well. Red Coral is a fossil coral meaning it's the remains of old coral and has been dyed red. The ones being traded are the traditional ones Tibetans wear traditionally. It is believed to be advantageous to one's health and protects from the danger of widowhood, as well as bringing good luck or good fortune to the house. Coral also quiets the emotions and brings peace and harmony to the surroundings.
Red is related to life force and preservation. The Buddha Amitabha is depicted with a red body in Tibetan art. The part of the body associated with this color is the tongue. Fire is the natural element complementary to the color red. In Buddhism, meditating on the color red transforms the delusion of attachment into the wisdom of discernment.
Since 1980 Karma and Zumki Lama have brought thousands of items made from Tibetan Refugees living in Nepal and India. As Tibetan refugees themselves, they were shocked by how much people in America loved our culture and our craftsmanship. After selling for a while, they decided to bring the wealth back home and support the struggling communities and artisans. We only buy directly from the local artisans and make sure there is no middle man to take away their hard earned money. We make sure to visit Nepal and India at least twice a year and always find new items and artists to work with. Over the years we have developed strong bonds with the artisans and always make sure to keep in touch and see that their life improves under our support.
Due to your support and our continued success, we have expanded beyond just Nepal and India and now source our products ethically, from mainly Southeast Asia. (Thailand, Bali) We have expanded our collection due to the repeated requests of our customers asking for more and more culturally diverse products, and have made some new friends along the way.
You can directly impact the local artisans by visiting either Nepal and India and experiencing the rich and vibrant culture. Many small independent businesses fail due to the changing times, and this, in turn, affects the local artisans in small villages in Southeast Asia creating a domino effect. With your support, we can continue supporting our friends from Southeast Asia and continually grow to impact their lives in a positive fashion.