Seed used as a bead ID

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    Hello. After an exhausting and fruitless search, I cannot identify online the beads used in this religious piece. Can you help?

    Rachel Perez Castro


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    Hello Rachel,

    These look like the inner part of Choerospondias axillaris fruits to me, called Nepali hog plum in English and Lapsi in Nepali. This species is in the Anacardiaceae family that also has cashew, sumach, mango and poison ivy in it.

    The structure used as a bead is not technically a seed, but a woody drupe or pit containing 5 seeds. The 5 oval-shaped depressions at one end of the drupe is where the germinating plants would sprout from.

    Thank you for sharing your question and images!


    Hello, Jennifer! Thank you very much for your help. It certainly ends my search. Also, I find it fascinating and surprising that a religious paper I read just yesterday contained the Latin word “lapsi” which of course, has an entirely different meaning than the “lapsi” in Nepali. But, what a lovely and funny coincidence. I gave away my “lapsi” decade Rosary in the image I submitted, and was hoping to find another, but had no apt description. Now I hope I do. Thanks again!

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