There are 21 models different of Cross of the South. Each
cross is the symbol of a city and makes it possible to know the hometown of the
nomads who wear it. It is difficult to be categorical on their origin. According to
certain studies, the crosses would exist from Pharaonic Egypt. But it could be also
that they go back to one more recent pre-Islamic period, at the time where the
tribes were influenced by the Christianity and the symbol of the Christian
cross. These silver jewels are carried out by the Touarègues blacksmiths
according to the technique of the lost wax, whose first stage consists in modelling
out of wax a coarse counterpart of the cross. This form is then coated with clay
and is passed to the oven. The temperature liquefies the wax which escapes by
an end, thus releasing a hollow terra cotta mould in which the silver is run. After
cooling, the craftsman breaks the clay mould to withdraw the rough cross from it.
It is filing and engraving lengthily that he finishes the cross.
Tuareg parents are known to give these exquisite silver crosses to their
children when they are about to depart from home but they are worn by all
as a form of good luck and protection, evoking the eternal sentence: "My
son, I give you the four directions of the world, because nobody can know
where you will die."
Height : 7 cm.
Braided leather bond Provided.
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