Now that more and more people are back to wearing colorful brooches and pins, this trend has received a great deal of attention. However, there is one version of this trend that is taking place in Mexico that is not nearly as adorable. If you have yet to hear of the maquech, this is your chance to become familiar. For those who do not know what the maquech is, here is a quick primer.
The maquech looks the same as any normal brooch that a person would wear. There is just one catch, though. A beetle is encrusted in rhinestone and remains alive while the wearer is walking around with it on. Live jewelry has become trendy in certain parts of the world. The beetles that are used for the jewelry are flightless and are typically found in Mexico or South America.
The metal chain is used to keep the beetle in place and thick stones are glued onto the insect’s back in order to keep them from getting away. These beetles will typically survive for at least four years but they are not going to enjoy a proper lifespan in these conditions. In most instances, the beetles that are used for this jewelry will not be able to last more than a few months at a time.
The beetles are under a great deal of stress and they do not receive the proper care. These brooches have actually been in existence since the 1980s, though. They are the stuff of legend. According to ancient tales, the beetle brooch originates from a story about a princess who was forced to say goodbye to a forbidden lover. The lover was transformed into a beetle so that he could remain by her side even in death.
Skeptics believe that this story is just a cheap marketing ploy designed to get people to purchase this jewelry. There is not a great deal of information available about these unique brooches but these beetles are definitely being taken away from their natural habitat for no good reason. Visitors of the Yucatan should beware. These animals should not be turned into jewelry and ripped away from their homes in the process.
Please be sure to share this story and spread the word about the difficulties that these beetles experience. While most would not think that insects would be in this type of danger, it is safe to say that these beetles are better off in the wild. That is their natural habitat and it is where they belong.