Where are the pearls from? What are the pearls born for? Why do pearls come to this world? What does the existence of pearls mean to this world? In the odyssey of seeking for pearls, there come up many beautiful romantic legends in different regions or different periods, which bear people’s good affections on as well as best wishes to the pearls.
In western historical legends and religious cultures, pearls have long been thought as a sacred gift from gods. We can imagine that when our ancestors first found this round glossy pearl from the mother-of-pearl, how excited and surprised they would be! They must be wondering “how could such an ordinary shell produce such a treasure?” They deemed the pearl they had found as a gift from god and treated it as carefully as they could. They guarded the pearl and were so fond of it that they were unwilling to leave. Since then have come up many stories and legends that have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
As a matter of fact, nothing can explain how such an ordinary oyster can produce such a masterpiece except that it is a gift from god.
In ancient India, people believed that pearls were made of morning dews by gods and what gods wanted to do was to confuse people in this secular world. In Persian myth, it says that pearls symbolized a bright future and pearls they are from tears of the gods.
While people in ancient Rome held the opinion that the birth of pearls had something to do with Venus, the god of love. Venus is a goddess in charge of human beings’ love, marriage and birth. Her Greek counterpart is called Aphrodite, which means “she who came from the foam” in ancient Greek language. In the waves and white foams in the sea, a shell opened, and Venus was born in this shell. Water drops in her body fell and then became pearls. Birth of Venus is a work done by Botticelli, the famous Italian painter in Renaissance. In this picture, Venus has a long and blond hair. Her face is elegantly curved, yet with a trace of melancholy look. Her slender neck and pearl white skin are as smooth as the silk. She is not only the ideal woman that all men in the world dream of-soft, beautiful and a bit bashful, but also the embodiment of the pearl.
In Northern Europe, there is a Danish fairy -The Little Mermaid. In this story, there is a little mermaid who missed her prince so much that she cried a lot. The mother-of-pearl guarded beside then collected her tears and the tears were changed into pearls.
There are also myths in the West saying that pearls are the crystals of Virgin Mary’s breast milk. Some other legends say that pearls are the remorse tears shed by Adam and Eves after they had committed the “original sin”.
People in ancient Hebrew think that pearls were used by God to decorate the Garden of Eden. In the first Book of the Bible Genesis, it records, from the Garden of Eden that the Thomson River out flow, “where there is pearl and agate”.