Native American traditionally used the abalone shell to burn healing plants like sage or yerba santa. This seashell belongs to the haliotis genus and it's also known as ormer. Its hull is formed by microscopic calcium carbonate layers that are bonded together with a protein substance. When hit, the structure is able to absorb the energy of the blow instead of breaking, which makes it extremely resistant. The inner part of the shell is covered with mother-of-pearl, hence its delicate iridescent reflections.
In different cultures, the abalone shell means resistance, protection and balance. For apache women, it symbolises the passing from childhood to adulthood. Smudging with an abalone shell is like invoking the power of the four elements: the fire of the burning match, the spirit of the ocean that dwells in the shell, the plant that concentrates the best of the earth and the aromatic smoke that spreads out in the air.
How to use it
Poor a little bit of sand or marble sand (ref.ME090) in the shell. Light the tip of the smudging bundle of your choice, then blow the flame. Place it on the shell. With one hand hold the shell, with the other spread the aromatic smoke towards the places or objects you want to purify. When you've finished, place the shell on top of its wooden tripod (ref. Q017 recomended) or any heat resistant surface.
Please note that the shape and the size of the abalone shells may vary depending on deliveries. It can have natural imperfections, uneven edges or some traces of burning. These defects are specific to this item as the shells are handled by hand from opening to final drying.