Bonchi djuku

These little beans almost look like precious stones. They made a remarkable journey from the heart of the Amazon rainforest to the coast of Curaçao. Natasha Cabenda collected them for a while. She told us what kind of beans we are looking at.

“They call them floating seeds. They come from deep inside the Amazon forest where they fell in a river and then washed into the sea. They are vacuum and thus they stay intact and go with the currents in all directions. People have always associated them with luck because they come from far, from mysterious nature. They started to make jewelry from the bonchis. They call the big one Sea Heart.”

Bonchi djuku is said to bring you luck in gambling. But the shiny beans from the Amazon have a quite different meaning for Natasha. “I walk around with my bonchi djuku for good luck. Lots of times I walk around with three bonchi djuku: a black one and two with red edges. When I feel I have to go to a place with negative influences I take the bonchi djuku out of my bag and keep them in the pockets of my pants to have them close with me.”

During the workshops we saw more examples of this kind of old, spiritual objects that had got a more or less modern and more personal interpretation. In this way they still play a role in daily life. Just like Natasha’s bonchi djuku.

“People have always associated them with luck.”