Job's Tears / Zulu River Beads Rosaries

They are are called Imfibinga seeds (sometimes referred to as "Job's Tears") and are collected by the Zulu tribe in South Africa. They are found near the Mpumalanga river in KwaZulu Natal. They come from a tropical wild grass that has been gathered for centuries.

The Zulu call these chwabasi beads; in some places they are called imfibinga. They come in different shades of gray and brown,

African Beaded Necklace Handmade in South Africa by women of the Zulu Tribe.  This multi-strand necklace is made using natural Imfibinga Seeds intricately woven onto a beautifully basket-weave beaded closure/clasp

The Imfibinga beads are cool to the touch and have been used by Zulu women to sooth teething babies for generations. Also referred to as Zulu Teething Beads, River Beads, and in other parts of the world as Job's Tears.

As each necklace is handmade, and the beads are as they are found in nature, there will be slight differences, as shown in the photos. The woven beaded closure colors identify the necklace length.  

This statement necklace looks fabulous on as you carry a touch of Africa with you.

 

Known for her simplicity and humility, Mother Teresa of Calcutta used a rosary made of Job’s Tears for her personal prayers. The term Job’s Tears refers to a tear drop shaped fruit of the plant known by botanists as Coix lacryma-job. This natural element is a perfect choice for jewelry and rosary makers because it has a hard shiny coat and a hole at the tip that makes it easy to string for necklaces, bracelets, and rosaries. Research indicates that Job’s Tears have been used in jewelry since 3000 B.C.

 

According to legend, the name Job’s Tears was given to this fruit in memory of the many tears shed by Job  in the Old Testament writings.

A very common seed with a legend going back to the days of Job, the Patient One, is that of a tall grass with the scientific name Coix lachrymajobi called Job’s Tears for short. The name comes from the hard, shining tear-like seeds that have a bluish-gray porcelain appearance.

 

Legend says that in his grief for the many agonies he endured, Job wept ‘tears unto God’. And they weren’t wasted for, as his tears fell to the ground, a miracle happened. The tears were as seed which sprouted and grew into a tall, luxuriant growth of rare beauty. That tall grass, in turn, produced seed resembling those same tears Job wept so copiously in his hour of grief

 

Mother Teresa chose to carry a simple rosary of Job’s Tears but during the Middle Ages members of religious orders were forbidden to carry rosaries made of more expensive materials such as amber.

 

Also known as corn beads, coix seed or tear grass, Job's Tears are a member of the grass family, and grow similarly to corn. Used for beads since at least 2,000 BCE, and recently uncovered at a western Native American historical site. Once an important source of food, most likely originating in India.Also known as corn beads, coix seed or tear grass, Job's Tears are a member of the grass family, and grow similarly to corn. Used for beads since at least 2,000 BCE, and recently uncovered at a western Native American historical site. Once an important source of food, most likely originating in India. Today we grow them primarily for their very hard, teardrop shaped grains that are used as beads for making jewelry and other craft projects. Job's Tears are also used in traditional Chinese medicine, where they are known as yi yi ren.

What Makes Them Shiny?

A unique feature of these seeds is that the oils of the hands of the person praying with them make them shinier. For most people, rosaries made with our seeds will turn a shiny grey with time. Sometimes they will darken the more you pray with them. I have a friend whose rosary beads turned rich, chestnut brown.

 

 

Job’s Tears grow wild in the ditches of tropical countries.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta loved to pray with rosaries made from these seeds. She preferred them for their simplicity and humility. We can learn so much from the example of the saints.

 

 

 

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