Horn used for jewelry and accessories comes from the water buffalo, a black-skinned mammal also known as “carabao,” which is raised for plowing rice fields, transport, milk, and meat.
Filipino’s shape the carabao horn into jewelry beads and components, employing a labor intensive process; using crude tools and machines they systematically cut up, carve, etch, dye, and polish the horn beads. Horn beads are then finished with black, golden brown and other translucent shades.
Eco-friendly pieces used for high-fashion stand apart from man-made products, creating endless possibilities for jewelry that is expressive and limitless. Horn jewelry is created around the natural beauty of the horn. Each piece of horn has its own personality in terms of how it is shaded, shaped and its variations of streaks. Horn beads are available in striking designs and enticing colors. Today’s Fashion designers are turning the crude material into trendy and exciting jewelry and accessories.
Both the carabao male and female have massive horns. Many countries use the carabao as a source of milk just like the cow, or it may be slaughtered for its hide and its meat. Water buffalo hide provides tough and useful leather often used for shoes and motorcycle helmets.
The domesticated water buffalo is often referred to as “the living tractor of the East”, as it is relied upon for plowing and transportation in many parts of Asia. Since it was adopted by villagers in medieval Egypt, the water buffalo has become the most important domestic animal in present times. The water buffalo now supplies Egypt with more meat than any other domestic animal. They also provide milk, cooking oil, and cheese.