Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Prayer Beads

Being that I am a Jew (in terms of persona) I would have no use of prayer beads in the medieval context. But beads are shiny and I like shiny. My lord who does have an islamic persona can use them as well as them making neat presents for people who need that finishing touch to their outfit.

I took a class at an Atlantian University from someone who's specialty is jewelry and prayer beads. I haven't done a ton of research into them, not serious research any way. I was presented with a handful of rules and research and went with it.

This was made from a kit I bought from the instructor. It was glass beads on silk or cotton thread. I have since had to replace the cord with heavy duty waxed string I use for sewing shoes because my lord breaks things.

Like a rosary or paternoster there is a mathematical component to your planning stage. If you want a smaller piece you need to make your beads into a grouping that divides into the number of times you need to thank your "lord." In Islam the prayer beads are known as Tesbih (other names for research purposes are subha and misbaha). They break into sets of 33 and you would say three prayers 33 times each for a total of 99.  As with any ceremonial artifact there are going to be exceptions to the rule. This is a general summary on how to create a tesbih.

My favorite way to make them is to have the full 99 with division beads (nisane for the middle and pul for the end) at each marker of 33 for the for the 99 names of Allah. Only the camels know the 100th name of Allah. I have also made shorter ones of 33 with markers at each 11 beads.

This was wood on hemp cord because my lord breaks things. Here I tied the (pul) end bead into the end with an added elephant because it is my lord's house and heraldry. So in this case the elephant knows the last name of Allah. He wears this one like a necklace.

These are stones that look like carved pits and the nisane are carved wood. Silk cord. After creating this I realized I probably shouldn't have added the pul bead at the end. This was created as a replacement for my lord who lost the red one after breaking it. He has since found the original red one and he is only allowed to hold this one in court.
The Beads were made out of all kinds of stones, wood, seeds, and bone etc. so, you can have a little fun with making them. I've also heard tale that there are some with little carved skulls. I should warn you, these are easy and fun to make and once you start researching prayer beads you might find yourself tangenting a lot.

These are Buddhist Mala prayer beads I made for a friend in the household
And this is a paternoster for another member of the household

 A few notes of interest:

Tassels at the ends of your strand are important to ward off evil.

The closest Jews had to prayer beads were knotted shawls.

My lord has indicated that the shorter beads are great for holding his sleeves out of the way while he uses the restroom.

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