by Thea Cowsky
Shakya Design offers malas and focus jewelry in mammoth ivory.
Each mala, or prayer beads, is made of 108 mammoth ivory beads and a hand carved mammoth ivory pendant. The pendants are intricately carved by a Chinese master carver and takes many weeks to complete.
Where Mammoth Ivory Comes From
Mammoths flourished during the Pleistocene epoch–from 1.6 million years ago to the end of the last ice age. Except for one dwarf species, the last mammoth species became extinct around 10,000 years ago. Mammoth remains have been found in Europe, Africa, Asia, Siberia, and North America.
Mammoth ivory provides a humane alternative to using elephant ivory which, on a large scale, includes the suffering and killing of elephants for their tusks. The mammoth ivory that we use has been legally acquired and certified through our carvers.
Characteristics of Mammoth Ivory
The Siberian mammoth ivory that is used for the beads and pendants used in Shakya Design malas and jewelry displays natural variation in color and luster and are invitingly smooth to the touch.
Mammoth ivory is unique among natural materials for its ability to render exquisite detail. A Chinese master carver has taken the mammoth ivory and created intricate and beautiful pendants which we then make into unique one-of-a-kind mala and jewelry pieces.