The History Path of Kombolói
The History Path of Kombolói (6/8)

The kombolói continues to exist and evolve in our days, much like humans do, demonstrating that tradition can be in perfect harmony with our contemporary lifestyle. The kombolói is no longer an object in the hands of men, but can now decorate the hands of many women of all ages. Apart from the traditional number of 33 beads, there are modern kombolóis consisting of fewer beads. As a rule of thumb, however, the number should be odd. The reason for this is in essence functional. After the owner of a kombolói has left all beads run from his/her fingers, he/she can hold it from the odd bead, change its direction and start playing again, this time moving the beads downwards and allowing them to continue their harmonious melody. The scene of a kombolói being played in such a way, even if it lasts only for a few minutes, is a feast for the eyes. Its beads radiate an internal glow creating the sensation that the kombolói rewards its player for what he/she has offered it. Until now, we have insisted on the use of cord to string our kombolói beads, avoiding firmly the use of any metallic accessory such as chains or silver tassels. Any hard item may wear or damage the sensitive amber beads, hence destroying the kombolói. Frequently, the traditional tassel on top of the priest's head is omitted entirely and replaced by two beads. The materials from which kombolóis can be nowadays manufactured are numerous. Amber, however, has always constituted the top choice, since no other material can compete with its properties.

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