Ethiopian Icon Crosses
Ethiopian Crosses are symbols of Christianity in Ethiopia. They are distinguished by their intricate lattice work and their variety of influences from Celtic to Egyptian. Ethiopian Icon paintings illustrate biblical scenes from the New Testament.
Small crosses worn on the neck have been part of Ethiopian culture and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for hundreds of years. Historically made from wood, bone, leather and carved stone, the 19th century saw the use of silver coins and silver alloy metals become the more popular tradition. In early examples, crosses were simply cut from large coins such as the Maria Theresa Thaler (Dollar) or the Emperor Menelik Dollar. More commonly, the silver coins were melted down and a neck cross was cast in the lost wax method. Old crosses often incorporate a circle into the motif, often at the center of the cross. The circle is believed to represent the Eternal and Everlasting Love of God, as shown through Christ's Crucifixion, Christ's Halo and Resurrection.
Our collection of Ethiopian Crosses were originally purchased through Joseph Knopfelmacher of Craft Caravan, who was a close friend to Beads of Paradise NYC. We also purchase our Ethiopian crosses from various dealers in Ethiopia.