Pearl - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 5 pages of information about Pearl.
This section contains 1,200 words
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PEARL. The making of the natural pearl commences when a grain of sand from the ocean or river floor works its way into the body of a pearl-bearing mollusk. To protect itself from this alien source of agitation, the mollusk secretes a substance (nacre, or mother-of-pearl) that slowly and cumulatively coats the foreign body until it loses its abrasive contours and becomes smooth and spherical in shape. On account of its singular origin, the pearl has been a symbol of sacred power since ancient times.

In many archaic cultures the marine shell, because of its appearance, is associated with the female genitalia, and the pearl is believed to be both the sacred product and the emblem of the feminine generative power. The pearl thus symbolizes both the life that is created and the mysterious force that begets life. One example of this reproductive symbolism is found in Beiya...

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This section contains 1,200 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Pearl Encyclopedia Article
Copyrights
Macmillan
Pearl from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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