Coal, an unexciting derivative of carbon found deep in the earth, has been hand-carved and polished into these pendants with intricate sun designs inspired by traditional etchings honoring the sun deity of the indigenous Muisca people who lived in the Andes Mountains of Colombia from 1000-1550 AD. Commonly used for fuel, this black sedimentary rock makes a unique piece to add to your jewelry collection or give as a gift to that special someone in your life.
Handmade by young artisans from the Morca Coal Project in Colombia through an effort initiated by the Colombian government to discourage child labor and train young men in new professions.
- Measures 1-3/4” diameter and 1/8” thick
- Suspended on a 36” black cord
Handmade in Colombia and fair trade imported.
The community of Morca, a mountainous area in the town of Sogamoso, Colombia depends heavily on coal mining to sustain its livelihoods. Casualties and deaths are common in these mines, either due to mining-collapses or the inhalation of poisonous gases. In 1995, the Colombian government established the Morca-Boyaca workshop to keep young men and boys out of the hazardous mines. The boys from the area were encouraged to attend school and learn the craft of carving coal into beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Excessive and long-term mining in this small town of Morca has made farming impossible, leaving the local residents with coal mines as the only source of employment. Men and boys responsible for supporting large families are often the victims of these unforgiving mines and unsafe working conditions. The Morca – Boyaca project aims at being able to eradicate child labor in the mines and provide these young boys with a better and healthier source of living.
The Colombian government, therefore, has been building networks with several marketing agencies and importers of handicrafts to boost the market for the coal jewelry. The Morca – Boyaca project is one such example of alliances that relies on One World Projects in the U.S. and the National Pedagogical University in Bogota to help expand the project and find suitable and more stable markets.