Jewelry inspired by the colors of the rain forest. Maleku Jewelry Designs’
expansive line of enchanting jewelry (including eye-catching semi-precious
stones in a range of captivating colors) offers everything from dramatic and bold
stand-out pieces, to delicate and intricately crafted stunners. In addition, the
attractive jewelry line surprises accessory-lovers with fused and dichroic glass
settings as well.
Born in San Jose, Costa Rica, Ileana Rojas-Bennett remains extremely proud of
her blood lineage to the Maleku Indians, and typically spends 5 to 8 hours
crafting each piece. “As a descendant of the artistic Maleku Indians, my innate
need to create derives from my ancestry,” expressed Ileana, creator of Maleku
Jewelry Designs. “I respectfully pay tribute to this tribe of artists with my designs,
and showcase the vast kaleidoscope of beautiful colors found within the Costa
Ileana starting designing jewelry in 2001, her mother has always
being an inspiration for her art since her mother herself is an artist.
Ileana started her silversmith classes in her local Community College, later she
enrolled at JCC where she learned stone setting and Russian enameling. The
following year she took classes in Milwaukee and private lessons for goldsmith in
Alabama under Patsy Croft. “I believe I am always going to be a student,
because I enjoy so much exploring new techniques” Ileana added.
Customers can take pride in knowing part proceeds of Maleku Jewelry Designs’
sales are donated to the Maleku Indians. Maleku, which means "Indian in love",
is the name of an extraordinarily artistic Costa Rican tribe. Unfortunately, this
indigenous group of people is rapidly disappearing as their culture and art
vanishes as well. Although there are only about 500 Maleku people left in Costa
Rica, this group has miraculously managed to preserve their treasured art and
creativity, time-honored crafts, and cherished language.