Tuareg Croix du Sud Necklace with Carnelian Beads
The edges of this old pendant have been smoothed over time from wear. There are still some faint markings still visible at the very top. It’s a delicate necklace that has a beautiful simplicity to it. It works just as well for daily wear as it does for tribal dance costuming.
This is one of several vintage Croix du Sud pendants I brought back from the souks of Marrakesh, Morocco. This particular one is called Tahoua. The sterling silver pendant measures approximately 1" wide by 1 3/4" long. The carnelian bead necklace has a beautiful luminous quality to it and measures 16 1/2" long. It is accented with a few brushed silver spacers. I have double crimped the ends and attached a sterling S hook closure.
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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