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Rayna’s Vine Waves

by

The Beadwrangler

 

This story begins in the South China Sea on a dock at Borneo where some of the tobacco is being unloaded and one of the crates brakes apart and containers of tobacco drop all over the deck of the ship. Fortunately the tobacco containers were wrapped tightly with a special vine that kept the tobacco from getting wet or separating. One woman, Mrs. Lenns, was waiting for a shipment of bananas to be unloaded. She reached down and touched a piece of the vine and asked the Captain "What is this vine called?"

The Captain smiled and told her "Well, it is called Rayna's Vine Waves. It is really strong but feels good to touch. There is a story about the vine waves and since it’s going to take a while for your bananas to be unloaded, perhaps you would like to hear about it."

The woman nodded her head and said, "Yes, please do," as she rubbed a piece of the vine between her fingers.

The Captain smiled, looked out at the ocean and said, "Let’s see if I can remember it all.   It began on an island in the Atlantic a very long time ago. There was a lush jungle with many plants thriving and coffee and cigars were the major exports. These products were shipped to many countries including Borneo for trade in other goods.

There was a young woman named Rayna who lived back in the jungles. Her father and mother had been imprisoned by the local government and Rayna was left to care for her younger sister and brother. She tried to find work but had no real talent. She had lived in the jungles all her life and did not have much formal education. She was able to gather fruit and vegetables but needed money for other necessities. What she did know how to do was make vine waves, a technique her mother taught her that had been handed down from one generation to another. Vine waves were traditionally used to cover items for strength when being moved. She and her siblings cut and prepared vine waves for this purpose but this only brought in a small amount of money for them locally. So she began to experiment and make other shapes of vine waves. Soon she was selling bracelets and necklaces at market places nearby. It was a very intricate technique that left one guessing as to where a vine wave started and ended.

Then one day a cigar exporter named Danly stopped by Rayna's hut and saw the vine waves he had heard about. He believed these vines would protect his tobacco on long trips across the open seas. The moment he saw Rayna, he began stumbling over his words. He looked at the young woman with long raven black hair and dark enchanting eyes and was overwhelmed. Rayna's voice was soft and lovely. He then noticed her hands were chaffed and raw and wondered if it was from working with the vines. He wanted to take her in his arms, pamper her and heal her hands with kisses from his lips. Instead he continued to stammer and tell her of his interest in her vine waves. Rayna looked up at the tall rugged man with strange green haunting eyes. Upon eye contact, she felt a wave of heat throughout her body and her heart thumping at a rapid pace. For a moment they seemed to be electrically charged and separated from their surroundings. Finally, one of the villagers stopped to check on an order and broke the magic silence. Danly, with difficulty, explained a possible business partnership using the vine waves to protect his tobacco shipments.

From this moment on Rayna's life was changed forever. Danly hired several workers to follow Rayna's instructions to form the waves from the vines. Danly and Rayna began finding reasons to meet about the vine wave business daily, but in fact it was to be near each other. They continued to be too shy to admit to their feelings for each other. Then one day Rayna was carrying an armload of vine waves into her hut, slipped over a basket full of vines and fell into Danly's arms. He did not let go of Rayna until he had kissed her deeply and many times. Danly and Rayna were very much in love and began planning their wedding. Danly was able to pay a fee for the release of Rayna's parents from prison in time for the wedding. As time went by Danly begged Rayna to no longer abuse her hands with the vine waves. Rayna however, still yearned to form the vine waves so one day Danly brought her needles, thread and tiny beads from one of his shipments and told her to make the vine waves in beads.

Before Rayna could ask how, in popped a little old woman about 4 foot tall with an ancient face like dried fruit named Ginknog and Danly introduced her to Rayna. Ginknog was a master beader. Rayna and Ginknog quickly became friends and Rayna soon learned to make beaded vine waves. Rayna then designed her own vines and used larger beads to separate the vines of smaller beads. This technique displayed each large bead handsomely and were a Rayna specialty.

As time went on, Ginknog acted as grandmother and beading teacher to Rayna's siblings and to Rayna and Danly's children when they were old enough. When Rayna and Danly's children were grown, some of them decided to travel to other lands. Each carried on the tradition of making Rayna's vine waves in beads to share with generations to follow and people of other cultures.

And that is the story of Rayna's Vine Wave," said the Captain. Mrs. Lenns thanked the Captain for the story, picked up her order of bananas, and as she departed the ship she wistfully said "I wish I could see one of those beaded vine waves."

The Beadwrangler invites you to see these vine waves and make your own. Click here to see the Beadwrangler’s Vine Wave Kit.