If you have ever been in Greece, you must have seen a komboloi and heard the sound of komboloi playing. Beads dropping one at a time, tapping the bead below, create different rhythms that could be interpreted as a code for different moods.
Beads of various materials, for various budgets in old or younger hands, worry beads carry with them a Mediterranean and an oriental scent.
Beads have been used as spiritual instruments, helping in achieving calmness, self-control and entering meditation levels in many religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam among others. The so-called worry beads derive from these spiritual instruments that accompanied prayers. With each prayer, with each mantra, a bead dropped, in a way that prayers could be counted.
The origin of the Greek komboloi is ambiguous. Some believe that the komboloi are imitations of Turkish prayer bead strands, others that they derived from knotted prayer strands (komboskini) used by Greek Orthodox monks. Worry beads were firstly used by the rich and the wealthy, mainly by Pashas, Sultans and Maharajahs, as they represented wealth, power and prestige. Soon, they became extremely popular among common people that used them for meditation and a way to spend their free time. As the years passed by, worry beads were not as popular as they used to be and were only used by religious people.
Nowadays, worry beads are popular all over the world, and especially in Greece, bought by tourists and locals as well. Many people find them necessary for their everyday lives as they offer solutions to their problems and at the same time pleasure.
Worry beads may help people quit bad habits, such as smoking, nail biting and reduce nervousness and stress.
Worry beads can also be a jewel for both men and women, and a piece of art, when they are made of valuable materials and designed with high standards.
They can also constitute a decorative element for the house, as well as a collection pieces, for they can be unique, precious and beautiful.