African folklore inspires Graff Tribal collection - The Jewellery Cut The Jewellery Cut - Jewellery, Jewellery Magazine
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African folklore inspires Graff Tribal collection

The story of a headstrong little girl who created the Milky Way is the starting point for a celestial combination of diamonds

May 18, 2021 By Rachael Taylor


Early African tribes attached some beautiful folklore to how the stars came to be in the sky. Now one of these tales – about a little girl whose childish rage caused the formation of the Milky Way – is the inspiration point for a new collection of high jewellery by Graff.

 

The Graff Tribal collection found wonder in the tale of a strong-willed girl who – as legend has it – became enraged at not being given a taste of some roasted roots by her mother. In defiance, she scooped up the roots and ash from the fire and threw them into the sky. The glittering red and white roots became stars, while the scattered ashes formed the Milky Way.

 

Other African folklore claims the girl purposely scattered the ashes to create a road in the sky, causing the Milky Way to sometimes be referred to as the Stars’ Road. Alternative tribal tales claim otherwise. The Xhosas believed the Milky Way to be the bristles on an angered dog’s back. The Sotho and Tswana called it Molalatladi and believed it is where lightening rests. Others thought it had a similarly functional but different role, including keeping the sky from falling, showing the progression of time or helping to turn the sun to the east.

 

Graff Tribal high jewellery collection

A suite of diamond jewels from the Graff Tribal collection, price on application, enquire at Graff 

 

Whichever legend you prefer, the majesty of the Milky Way is universal, and Graff Tribal is a celebration of its celestial wonder and the sky as a whole.

 

The diamond high jewellery collection takes us on a journey from sunrise to sunset, with designs that celebrate the sky. Yellow diamonds capture the warmth of the sun, while sunrises are shown in radiating patterns of mixed-cut diamonds. Half-moon shapes, packed with glittering white diamonds, evoke lunar movements.

 

The hero motif of the Graff Tribal high jewellery collection is a shape referred to as the Graff Gateway. It is a an elliptical pavé-set shape that is used across earrings, rings and pendants to capture and showcase diamonds of larger cuts. Graff describes the motif as “ a contemporary vision of timelessness linking the past and the future, the Earth and the stars”.

 

Graff Tribal high jewellery collection

A suite of diamond jewels starring the Graff Gateway motif from the Graff Tribal collection, price on application, enquire at Graff 

 

To capture the spirit of these beautiful legends, Graff and fashion photographer Mikael Jansson took to the Atlantis Dunes in South Africa’s Western Cape to shoot the campaign for Tribal. Dressed in the extraordinary high jewels, Portuguese supermodel Sara Sampaio was captured walking barefoot in the sandy dunes, through blackened steel sculptures made especially for the shoot, to create some striking images that capture the mythological spirit of the Graff Tribal jewels.

 

 

 

 

 

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