According to tradition, the komboskini was first created by Osios Pachomius, to serve the monks’ need for prayer and meditation.
In AD 320, Osios Pachomius, with the assistance of Agios Antonios, founded the first monastery in Thebes, Egypt. It was there that, according to tradition, as he was seeking for a way to help monks concentrate on prayer, he was visited in his sleep by Archangel Gabriel who showed him how to create the object that would serve their prayer needs.
This object was the komboskini.
The komboskini, or prayer rope, is used by the spiritual fathers and more by the monks. The person praying passes each knot through their fingers while reciting various prayers such as Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. The komboskini is made of wool and it is black, to symbolize mourning for one’s sins.
There are komboskinia that can be worn on the wrist, or even smaller ones that are worn on the finger. A komboskini is made for prayer, it is not a decorative item like a bracelet or ring. It is used not just by monks but also by seculars and by any praying soul.