Necklace Telsum Silver Pendant Ethiopia


Ethiopia is home to one of the oldest continuous Christian traditions in the world, and Ethiopian silversmiths produce religious jewelry as an expression of that tradition. Star of David pendants are worn around the neck and emphasize the relationship of Christian Ethiopians to Israel, King Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba.

Triangular or crescent-shaped prayer boxes, called telsum, are worn for their protective properties. The triangular specimens in particular are believed to fend off evil spirits and the evil eye,‚ whereas crescent-shaped amulet boxes are worn as protection against the spells of the crescent moon. Square, rectangular, and irregularly shaped pendants are also manufactured to serve similar purposes. Some of these telsums are elaborately decorated and feature granulated designs created with melted silver. Often, they are gold-washed or gilded. Telsum prayer boxes are traditionally worn as necklaces, strung on purple yarn or strips of cloth. Older specimens were made from silver derived from the Maria Theresa thaler; modern versions are typically made from an amalgam of nickel and alloy.

Only 1 piece in stock!

Approximate Age: 20th Century telsum and beads

Strand Length: 27.5 inches 

Telsum Bead Size: .25-.75 inches x .50-.75 inches

Pendant Size: 1x1.75 inches

Materials: Metal

Made In: Ethiopia

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