Sterling Silver Croix du Sud with Goldstone Beading
This is one of several Croix du Sud pendants I brought back from the souks of Marrakech, Morocco. This particular one is called Tchintabaradene and it has lovely intricate patterns decorating its face. It measures approximately 1" wide by 1 1/2" long. I have strung it on a goldstone beaded necklace which is accented with sterling silver spacers and measures 17 1/2" long. I have double crimped the ends and it closes with a sterling S hook. The pendant is stamped 925 on its back and the name of the silversmith who made it is marked there as well. It’s a very pretty necklace that works equally well for daily wear as it does for tribal dance costuming.
The Tuareg people of the Sahara Desert traditionally use the stars to navigate and a constellation in the shape of a cross was used to orient them with the southern pole. This symbolism is reflected in their personal adornment with silver pendants called Croix du Sud or the Southern Cross.
There are 21 varieties; each one represents a specific area of Africa which identifies the wearer as a particular tribesman. These pendants were traditionally passed from Father to Son so that they may always know their place in the world, however, in modern times they are worn by both genders.
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