So, how did it all start for ToKompoloi52? Back in 1994, in a tiny little alley (Ag. Deka Str.) in the centre of the Old Town of Chania, Crete, a little shop called Chantradiko (ToKompoloi52’s predecessor) opened for the first time. In this store you could find a wide variety of different beads and strings in a plethora of materials, textures and colours. It became very popular, really quickly, among people who liked to create all types of hand-crafted jewellery, accessories, toys and decorations. Our most supportive and loyal customers were the ones who would frequently visit us in order to get supplies and create custom sets of worry beads (kompoloi in Greek). As time went by, the demand for an even wider range of materials for the construction of worry beads sets grew drastically, as well as the demand for collectible sets of worry beads, so we decided to accustom and correspond to our customers’desires and needs. We went on a research in order to find more information about the history and the origins of worry beads, as well as to find out which are the best materials to use when constructing a custom set.
But we didn’t stop there. We traveled the world and visited a number of different countries (Russia, Denmark, Finland, Cuba, Turkey etc.) in order to expand our knowledge and educate ourselves about all the different materials and stones – especially amber, which is the most popular among worry beads. We collected lots and lots of worry beads sets and materials in general and the concept of ToKompoloi52 began to blossom. We moved our headquarters to a different location and we were the first ones -in the city of Chania- to open a shop that sells exclusively sets of worry beads along with a variety of supplies for their construction, as well as supplies for various other jewellery and handicraft creations. You can visit our store ToKompoloi52 in the Municipal Market of Chania (a.k.a Agora), no.52. After all these years we are still strong supporters of the philosophy behind the concept of kompoloi and we are always happy to spread the word about our beloved skill toy and connect with those who love and support it, as well.
Το Κομπολόι 52
– Πότε ενός καλού κομπολογά ο πόνος δυναμώνει?
– Όταν του άλλου τη κομπολογιά στέκει και καμαρώνει.
The presence of worry beads in past eras
People, since the ancient times, would always put faith in natural materials like beads or into the spirituality behind the meaning of shapes like the circle. They used to believe that a few beads tightly tied on a piece of string would bring them good fortune, that they would break spells, drive sicknesses away and prove their faith to their own God and Creator. The use of prayer beads (or the rosary, as we call it nowadays) differs depending on people’s culture and religion. In some culture prayer beads were an evidence of people’s wealth and that was quite obvious from the fine quality of the materials they ware made of (gold, silver, sapphire, diamonds, etc.). In every corner of this planet, all kinds of different civilizations (from the Inkas and the Mayas to the Indian sects and the Greeks) would incorporate in their culture and traditions some type of worry beads (kompoloi).
The concept of kompoloi in today’s modern society
Today, a set of worry beads is like a jewel in our hands; it keeps us company and it helps us drive our sadness away while we slowly caress the beads.
Our mission is to cultivate and maintain this meaningful relationship between people and worry beads. We also promise to always offer products of the finest quality, in addition to the best customer experiences. We will always be here for worry beads enthusiasts and share our love for amber, mastic, incense, animal’s bone, animal’s horn and many more materials. We will continue our travels across the world in order to find and bring back to you rare and unique sets of worry beads.
Interesting historical facts
Beads in general, along with some ancient forms of worry beads traces, were found in the history and remnants of ancient civilizations like the Inkas, who would use them either as an amulet or as an ornament. These ancient tribes used to embroider their clothes and masks with beads because they believed that a few beads tied on a piece of string would secure them with the grace of their gods and that they would keep away all kinds of misfortune and disease.
The earliest sets of prayer beads made their first appearance in eastern countries and were mainly used as an artifact that helped people count their prayers. The beads were tightly tied to each other, leaving no room for movement on the string. Those sets of prayer beads usually consisted of 108 beads.
Worry beads (in their current shape and form) appeared in Greece for the first time during the Ottoman era. Greeks gave a revamp to the Middle Eastern version of worry beads; the beads were not so tightly tied to each other, leaving more room for movement on the string while people were using them. People started to use them as a means of entertainment and relaxation.