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And More Beads.

Q: I find that as more people know I am a beader, I get more interesting gifts. While in Julian, CA, I noted a string of handmade paper beads. When I mentioned it to the woman at the booth, she gave them to me because I was the only person who seemed to know what they were. My husband's new boss now has gifted me with some religious beads from his homeland (Bombay, India). They are extremely tiny, and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas of the significance. I have sent an E-mail to him asking, but no answer yet.

A: Are they seeds? Some plants there are associated with dieties/festivals, so the seeds may be used for malas or jewelry for devotees. I'll try to get a picture to send, but they are tiny (probably a 18 ought) and appear not to be seeds, but double cones with large ends together and holes through points. They are a beautiful coral color. If you do, let me know. There's a 'Vedanta Society' swami (Hindu monk) here, that I'll be seeing in September. He may know what they are, and what significance they may have.