Pendant Type -
The pendant type jewelry adornment
is quite popular in Africa. It extends wear-ability in that it allows a piece to be worn long or short, on a rope or chain, with other jewelry types or by itself, worn every day or on special occasions, inside clothing or out, and so forth. Many Africans find this jewelry-type adornment, meaningful, cultural, protective, meditative, powerful, healing and of course, beautiful.
Africans usually make pendants with rocks and minerals and collectively refer to them as gemstones. Pendants can also be made with bones, horns, cowrie shells, feathers, clay, leather, and other natural elements. We believe it is
the naturalness and proximity to nature that is the Pndts. 262
appeal. There is also the belief that these natural elements
possess powerful, medicinal and other elements that may be
useful to wearers.
According to Chris Pellant, in Smithsonian Handbook, Rocks and Minerals, Published in the United States by Dorling Kindersly, Inc, New York, "Rocks and Minerals are a fundamental part of the earth's crust...Rocks are aggregates of minerals - usually several, but sometimes one or two. Similarly, minerals are either free, uncombined native elements or elemental compounds. Gold, Silver and Copper are metallic native elements..."
Although Africa has huge deposits of rocks and minerals, certain of them appear quite frequently in pendants and other jewelries, and below are how some of them may look in a natural state.
A. Natural state of stones and minerals.
Source: Chris Pellant in Smithsonian Handbook, Rocks and Minerals, published in the United States by Dorling Kindersly, Inc., New York.
For a more detailed look at rocks and minerals, please consult above author.
B. Part of the process involved in turning a rock or mineral into a bead.
b1. Half section of a Ghanaian amethyst bead.
b2. Bead inside, showing the amethyst mineral in its natural state.
b3. Bead making in progress. Outside look of the outer side of the bead.
b4. Completed bead bracelet, hand polished and probably decorated with other minerals and/or stones found around the amethyst. It was traditional for African bead makers to also inform with their craft. It may be that by decorating the amethyst with other molten minerals, the bead maker was informing that he was incorporating other gemstones/minerals found around the amethyst into his bead making.
The length of time spent on the crafting, and the size of the beads may denote that the jewelry was being made for someone of high status - a "chief", an elder of high standing or some personage of the ruling clan, and/or for ceremonial purposes.
Whether the pendant is of a rock or mineral, or of a fashioned bone or horn, cowrie shell, goat skin amulet, exotic feather, etc., the Africans who made these had culture on their mind, and therefore made them with great love, so that the wearer would receive untold blessings and satisfaction.
What else can one hope for! Enjoy!!
We do very well with our Ethiopian crosses and believe this is so because we know what you like, and shop only the finest traditional ones. You will find smaller type ones towards the top, and larger type ones (either commissioned, for leaders and/or people of higher status or the preference of those with means to purchase them) down below, towards the bottom of the page .
They are all hand made and therefor each is different, even when made by the same hand. People have always loved Ethiopian
crosses, perhaps because of the spirit of the people and their resilience, their uncompromising faith, their powerful history, the gentility of the people, the look of the crosses, or all of the above. We hope you too find much joy in these. Enjoy!
Larger pieces as discussed above.