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  • Amanda Jade Fiorino

Adornment is Ecological


Beading is a process of forming patterns from what the eyes might understand (if it were an isolated sense, which it’s not) as the formless. Patterns that find their becoming through the medium of muscle, bone, blood, and ligament... sometimes beaks, claws, pincers, and teeth. And, of course, the imaginal, chthonic (springing from the earth), and entangled.

There’s a listening to colors, a hearing of textures, and a seeing in relationships that leads to adornment.

I love adornment, as it’s not a strictly human ritual. Other creatures (more-than-human) will adorn themselves to either stand out or blend in. Satin bower birds will bedeck their nests with all manner of beauty as an erotic gesture to allure a possible lover.

Adornment is an ecological function of courtship, communication, and survival (i.e. camouflage or mimicry/masquerading), such as Decorator Crabs. Their shells have velcro-like hairs that enable them stick oceanic materials to their backs to blend in, or even present as another ocean creature.

Adornment can be a way in which we ceremonially enmesh ourselves with place and space, and even shapeshift to inhabit a particular role within our communities of belonging. Adorning so as to invoke the capacities of other more-than-human kin. Adornment as consciousness-shifting.

Beading (among other reasons) is an ancestral practice that connects me to evolving lineages of adornment that live in the soft tissue of my life.

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