The Harmony Bell Tradition

Any pregnant woman will tell you that once her baby bump makes its debut, free advice and cultural traditions will not be in short supply. Other women are eager to share their experiences, wisdom, and traditions as she embarks on the new adventure of motherhood. This seems to hold true all over the world. There are many unique pregnancy traditions shared from generation to generation in almost every culture.

Is she constantly craving sweets? In Turkey, that means she will likely give birth to a boy.

She’s probably hoping for a smooth and quick delivery. In Thailand, bringing the mom-to-be some lotus buds blessed by a monk is believed to help the process along.

Is she on the home stretch and tired of waiting? In the United States, an old wives tale says to eat spicy foods to jump start labor.

But one of the most charming pregnancy traditions that’s been passed down through the generations, the harmony bell, is actually shared by a few different cultures.

In Bali, India, and Mexico, it is common for pregnant women to wear a tiny silver bell on a long adjustable chain that hangs low on the belly.

Fair trade, handcrafted traditional Harmony Bell Necklace is a great Baby Shower Gift Idea! | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

The harmony bell, or angel caller as it is called in Mexico, jingles with a soft, soothing chime as the expecting mother moves throughout her day. The baby grows and develops in the womb, constantly comforted by the delicate tone. He learns to associate the chiming with warmth, safety, and love. Mexican culture in particular takes it a step further. They hold that the harmony bell not only calms the baby, but keeps evil forces at bay by calling on his personal guardian angel.

Fair trade, handcrafted traditional Harmony Bell Necklace is a great Baby Shower Gift Idea! | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

After the baby is born, a new mother can shorten the chain.

Because he has spent nine months associating the chime with safety and warmth, the harmony bell now serves as a way to smooth over fussy moments and stop tears. He can hear the bell softly jingling as he snuggles or nurses, and can even reach up and rattle it to himself as he is rocked to sleep.

Fair trade, handcrafted traditional Harmony Bell Necklace is a great Baby Shower Gift Idea! | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

Our fair trade partners at CRC Exports in India recently introduced us to the harmony bell tradition, and we’re so glad they did. Their version is creatively handcrafted with a sterling silver bell that hangs on a delicate adjustable chain. The bell chimes with a subtle, cheerful tone that keeps her company while she counts down the days until she gets to meet her precious little one.

Fair trade, handcrafted traditional Harmony Bell Necklace is a great Baby Shower Gift Idea! | Ten Thousand Villages #LiveLifeFair

The finely detailed design makes it the perfect gift for your favorite mother-to-be. Or you can make the harmony bell a family tradition of your own. After the infant outgrows the need for the comforting sound, carefully store the necklace in a safe place. When it’s her turn to embark on her own journey of motherhood, present her with it to use for her own children. It’s certainly a keepsake worthy of being passed down from generation to generation.

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Valentina

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Valentina lives in Lancaster, PA where she runs slowly, hikes often, and excitedly points out historical landmarks to friends and family. She is fond of curry and guacamole, and insists that vanilla ice cream is a waste of time and calories. Val is convinced that the greatest feeling in the world is stepping off a plane in a new place, and is a passionate believer that all the best days include books, baking, border collies, and bagpipes.

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