Ethiopian Hand Cross
Christianity was established in the Ethiopian highlands as early as the 4th century. For over 1600 years Christian Ethiopians have worn neck crosses as a symbol of faith. The cross was suspended around the neck by a cotton blue cord called a “mateb” which was received at baptism. Jewellery wise, the cross is the most prized personal possession and most valued to collectors of all highland selections. The crosses are usually named from the region that they originate. The crosses feature various design styling from the simplistic Greek or Latin crucifix to the more elaborate with flared arms, trefoils, decorative projections, complicated openwork designing and patterns of interwoven lines symbolizing eternity. Hinges and crowns show the later influence of 19th century European medals. They are hand cast and made from a silver/nickel alloy.
Size: 25cm L Approx