How are Jewelry & Accessories made from Horns of Water Buffaloes?

 

Are you killing the water buffalo just for their horns?

At Hathorway, we sell exquisite jewelry and accessories that are crafted using genuine horns of water buffalos. The first thing that many people ask is “are you killing the water buffalo just for their horns?” The answer is NO!

These water buffaloes are an integral part of life in Vietnam. They provide milk as a source of calcium for the family and are used for agricultural purposes where neither humans nor machines could easily maneuver through the deep, muddy fields.

Water buffalo being led along rice paddy in Mai Chau Valley by Declan McCullagh

Water buffalo being led along rice paddy in Mai Chau Valley by Declan McCullagh

When these creatures die, nothing goes to waste. The water buffaloes provide families with meat for hearty Vietnamese dishes, beautiful leather for luxurious handbags and clothing, and elegant jewelry and accessories through their bones and horns.

Today, many jewelry and accessories made of buffalo horns come from the water buffaloes in the mountainous provinces of Cao Bang, Lao Cai, Ha Giang in Vietnam, as well as Laos, Cambodia and other countries in Africa.

Cao Bằng Province in Vietnam from Wikipedia

Cao Bằng Province in Vietnam from Wikipedia

With horns coming from these different areas, we are able to design and create buffalo horn jewelry and accessories made with beautiful color variations of sand, chocolate, caramel, onyx and cream. We could go on about the gorgeous colors and textures of the buffalo horns, but we’ll save that for another post.

Color variations from the Jane Buffalo Horn Thin Bangles by Hathorway

Color variations from the Jane Buffalo Horn Thin Bangles by Hathorway


How are the horns made into earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and other unique jewelry?

The second question that many people ask is “how is it made?” Now most brands prefer to keep these things a little secret, but we find the horn jewelry process so fascinating that we wanted to share it with our customers and fans. So here’s how buffalo horn jewelry and accessories are made:

1) These large tubular horns are cut in half.

Image from DanViet

Image from DanViet

2) The horns are then boiled in hot oil in order for the material to soften up.

Image from DanViet

Image from DanViet

3) After horn is soften, it is ready to be pressed into thin plates.

Image from DanViet

Image from DanViet

4) With these thin plates of buffalo horns, the craftsman cuts the horns into various pieces of the jewelry design. Depending on the jewelry design, the craftsman adds various details and embellishments to each piece. He then polishes the pieces to create a glossy finish.

Image from DanViet

Image from DanViet

5) And voilà, the pieces are pieced together to create a beautiful buffalo horn earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets or rings. You can check some of our products out on our Etsy.

We hope you find this jewelry process just as fascinating as we did. Like we said in A Framework to our Hathorway Empire, we want you to feel insightful when you come across Hathorway. For that reason, we love sharing processes, knowledge and inspirations with you in hopes you will share it with others.

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Be strong & beautiful — inside & out,
Trang & Jessica