Bali, Indonesia based Linda of Eleven44Jewelry specializes in bold, statement jewelry inspired by nature and geometric shapes. The designs are made from upcycled brass which is sometimes plated or from sterling silver or gold. 

There is also a strong tribal or ethnic influence in the designs specifically her collection of septum nose rings and jewelry designed for stretched ear lobes. Some of the popular designs include multi-finger rings.

Jewelry which stands out for sure!

The Ancient Practice of Stretching Earlobes

In today's Western culture, we dread stretched earlobes from wearing heavy earrings. But stretched earlobes is a form of body modification which go back thousands of years, all over the world. The reasons for the practice ranged from aesthetics to status symbols.

One of the earliest mummies ever found with stretched earlobes is that of Otzi "The Iceman" who was buried in the Alps for over 5,000 years. Tutankhamun, the Egyptian Pharaoh also had stretched earlobes which can be see in his sarcophagus.  Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism started life as a prince before he renounced that life. He had permanently stretched earlobes because he wore heavy earrings in his earlier life. Statues of the Buddha show his long ears. 

Some of the tribes who practice stretching include the Maasai of Kenya. Asian tribes who have long ears include the Karen in the Thai/Myanmar area as well as the Dayak who can be found in Borneo ( East Malaysia and Kalimantan, Indonesia). 

Maasai Woman, Kenya. Picture Credit : William Wharby

Karen Woman from Hill Tribe in Thailand/Myanmar  Picture credit  : Steve Evans 

Dayak woman, Kalimantan, Indonesia Picture Credit : Hello Indonesia

Orejones - literally "big ears" was the nickname the Spanish conquistadors called  the Peruvian male nobles who wore large plugs made from gold, silver or wood depending on their rank. The practice of wearing plugs or ear spools was common among the Mayan and Aztec people as well as indigenous tribes in Mexico like the Totonac.  

Totonac figurine with ear spools 

So the younger people today going for  stretched earlobe are not really doing anything new. Much like tattooing and alternative piercings, stretched earlobes are growing in popularity especially when people see various celebrities with them. 

The stretching process is best done gradually with tapers of increasing size to ensure the even stretching. The ancient way was to slowly wear increasing numbers of heavy earrings over several years. 

Watch this video on the Pros and Cons of Stretched Earlobes by Swedish certified life and relationship coach, Katrin Brendt.  I personally will not wear plugs or stretch my earlobes but looking at her objectively, the plugs look good on her. Sort of inbuilt large studs!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM