Silver Ethiopian Coptic Icon
Their elaborate, stylized design is markedly distinct from the similar European Christian crosses.
No two crosses are exactly identical in style, the artisans who make them
being allowed the freedom to exercise a measure of individual taste and creativity in their choice of shape and pattern.
Crosses may be of the processional type with a socket at the base so
they may be mounted on a staff and carried in church ceremonies
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.
Jewelry 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.
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