Tuareg Southern Cross with Carnelian Cabochon
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.
This Croix du Sud is a stylized version of the Iferoune cross and is one of several vintage pieces I brought back from the souks of Marrakech, Morocco. The metal alloy pendant measures 1 3/4" wide by 2 3/4" long and features a Carnelian cabochon in the center. The 17 1/2" necklace is made of black Onyx seed beads and includes four metal tube spacers which are common Tuareg jewelry designs.
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