A Brief History of Married Life (Part 2)

A Brief History of Married Life (Part 2)
June 4, 2015 Northwood Rings
In Blog

We’re back with more on our post from last week about marriage traditions around the world. Marriage has been a part of society for as long as there has been human society. In fact, early marriages were little more than alliances to expand social circles for prosperity or protection. While the definitions and vows have changed every generation with new ideas and feelings (i.e. the inclusion of love for the first time around 250 years ago) some traditions we still hold on to for their symbolism regardless of progress. That is, after all, why we call them traditions.

Shooting Your Bride

One Chinese tradition pretty clearly harkens back to the days of “wedding as alliance.” In the Yugur culture, the groom shoots his bride with a real bow and arrow. These days, the arrows are headless and can’t do any permanent damage, but probably still hurt, and definitely leave a bruise. After hitting her with three arrows the groom goes over and breaks each one symbolizing that he will always lover her. Like most traditions, it is hard to trace the true origins of it, but it can be seen to represent the cessation of war that would have come from the ancient union of two rival groups. Hopefully, this beautiful tradition of unending love now includes padding and/or ice packs.

A Whole New Meaning to “Setting Down Roots”

Some couples are diligent about astrology when it comes to love and especially marriage. Even the most skeptical believers would probably be wary of a relationship between an Aires and a Capricorn, but a tradition in India takes astrological compatibility to a new level. Tradition says that people born under the Manglik astrological sign, a sign in the house of Mars, will bring their spouse nothing but trouble, possibly even an early death. So, to prevent human calamity, the person born under the Manglik sign must first marry a tree so that the tree can take the fall for the spouse. Sadly, the tree does not make it out of this relationship alive, but hopefully a second (human) spouse does.

Making A Racket

You might have heard (literally) of the tradition of banging pots on New Year’s Eve. Purportedly, this is meant to drive away evil spirits who hope to sneak into our lives on this brand new day. Of course, it’s hard to trace the origin of that belief, but we still see it all over TV as we watch fireworks go off after that world famous countdown to midnight. In France, pots and noise makers are employed on a couples wedding night. Friends and family make a ruckus outside the newlywed’s honeymoon suite at random intervals throughout the night. One might think this is meant to cover up other sounds, but the fact that the couple has to greet the rabble-rousers with food and drink suggests otherwise. Perhaps this noisy tradition also has to do with keeping evil away from a new beginning, but like all tradition, the meaning is perhaps shrouded in time.

Tell Us Your Traditions!

What else is out there? We have barely scratched the surface of the unique and deeply-rooted traditions that follow our most precious ceremonies. Is there any tradition you follow that you haven’t seen anywhere else? We want to hear about it!

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Macassar Ebony - Southeast Asia: A beautiful dark red to black toned wood. Great with vibrant colours like turquoise or malachite.
English Oak
*We are currently using the lighter woods from our Macassar Ebony to achieve this color as Roasted English Oak that is workable for bentwood has become hard to find. Colors range from medium to dark brown and nearly black tones.
Grey Maple
Sugar Maple - Canada: We use the same maple as our regular maple listing, but achieve a beautiful greyed colour by soaking the wood in iron acetate to achieve a weathered silver look.
Santos Rosewood
South America (Brazil and Bolivia): Not a true rosewood, and the same wood as our Pau Ferro, we use the santos name to differentiate the more red tone of this wood from the yellow tones of our Pau Ferro.
Pau Ferro
South America (Brazil and Bolivia): The same as our Santos Rosewood (although not a true rosewood), we use the Pau Ferro name to differentiate the more yellow tone of this wood from the red tones of our Santos.
Central and South America: Beautiful deep purple tones that range to nearly black, but show up brilliant in natural light.
American Elm
Eastern to Midwest United States: Tones range from a toasted caramel to light creamy white in the sapwood
Hawaiian Golden Koa
Hawaii: Vibrant golden tones ranging to reddish hues make this one of our customers most favorite wood choices.
American Black Walnut
Eastern United States: Walnut ranges from a pale brown to a deep chocolate brown and every shade between. Can have color casts of yellow, grey, purple or red.
Elm Burl
Western Europe: The grain in a burled tree is caused by some form of stress or injury to the tree, but creates a pattern that is beautiful to look at. Colors range from medium to dark brown with small figures of color patterns changing throughout.
Canadian Maple
Sugar Maple - Canada: Light and bright in color, our sugar maple comes from Canada and is a beautiful warm creamy white tone ranging to a light honey shade.

None of the woods we use are listed in the CITES appendices as being threatened or endangered. Macassar Ebony is listed on the IUCN Red List as being vulnerable due to a decline in it’s natural range. 

We source most of our woods from craftspeople and artisans with pieces too small for their own use. In this way we feel we can create beautiful rings without contributing to their decline.

Lapis Lazuli
"Blue Mix"
Made from Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli and Malachite
Synthetic Coral
Coral Sand
Natural Sand
Mother of Pearl
Synthetic Opal