The Tuaregs are traditionally a nomadic people of the desert who dwell in the Sahel, a belt of land spanning several countries south of the Sahara. They are often referred to as blue men of the desert due to their indigo blue-dyed robes. Drought and government policy have caused many Tuareg tribes to take up a more sedentary lifestyle in the cities, but the traditional camel caravans can still be seen traveling across the desert. They are known for their fighting ability and artwork, with a sword being a Tuareg’s most valuable possession.
Many Tuareg people adorn a specialized cross that is specific to their unique tribe. Traditionally these are handed down from generation to generation as a talisman against the Evil Eye. The crosses are characterized by repeating geometric patterns which are believed to protect the wearer against forces of bad magic. Early crosses were made exclusively of Moroccan silver while later ones often were formed from imported metals, still usually silver. This cross is not an authentic Tuareg cross as it is cast pewter that is antiqued and designed to resemble an actual Tuareg cross.
I designed this necklace to be symmetrical to follow with the geometric styling of the cross itself. It is made primarily of black onyx rondelles that are graduated in size and then accentuated by both silver and gold beads. The use of silver, gold and black along with the dual strands make this an elegant, but formidable piece of jewelry. You could see this worn on an ancient battlefield by a strong gladiator, but also on a bold modern day business woman. I just like to wear it with a pair of jeans and white tank top! The simple design and limited colors make this original handcrafted artisan necklace a very versatile piece of jewelry.
- Pewter casted Tuareg cross
- Antique gold-finished pewter detailed bail
- Black terra cotta rings (currently using metal rings instead)
- Giant brass lobster clasp
- Gold-plated terra cotta washers
- Antique gold-plated spacer beads
- Silver coated, antiqued ceramic beads
- Graduated black onyx faceted rondelles
Length: 14" + 3" extender, pendant is 3"
* I make every piece of jewelry myself with gemstones and natural materials I get from all over the world. Due to the nature and availability of the materials, each piece of jewelry will vary slightly from the original. Every piece will be equally beautiful and every piece is an original work of art. Notice the variation of the black onyx rondelles in the two full necklace pictures. One is smooth and the other is faceted. I will use what is available.