Lost-wax Symbolism

Lost-wax Symbolism


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Thu, 05/19/2022 – 17:25

A myth of the Uwa people relates that bees originally supplied the world with the elements essential for the emergence of life: honey, seeds, and yellow earth (metal ore). The beehive as a whole is associated with the uterus, and the process of smelting ore in a furnace to extract metal is considered comparable to the gestation of an embryo in the womb. 
For Indigenous metalsmiths, therefore, the steps of lost-wax casting symbolically mirror both cosmological and biological processes. Following the Uwa myth, the transformation of a wax model into a metal item is comparable to the transformation of life occurring in a womb, and breaking the ceramic mold is equated to giving birth. It also highlights the importance of the native stingless bees (melipona), which produce the wax needed in the casting process.

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Source: lacma.org

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