When choosing a pendant, look for pieces that resonate with you and have meaning. A quality piece of jewelry carries intention and care from the artist who created it.
Visual arts and adornment communicate broad social messages of affiliation and entitlement to communities. These expressions of identity are often gender-specific.
Pendants for Chains
Adornment has long been used as a sign of status, to define religious affiliation, social rank, or personal identity, and to mark life passages. It is also an art form requiring skillful craftsmanship and attention to detail.
For example, a temple pendant is worn by many Tibetans to represent their spiritual connection to a deity. Its intricate designs and fine artistry are a testament to the artistry of traditional jewelry making.
Ornaments may also serve as talismans, connecting the wearer to a religious guardian or an ancestor spirit. The use of feathers, shells, and bones may symbolize natural powers. Ornaments may also indicate cultural affiliation, community, or personal identity. In this regard, the cloth masks embroidered with beads and cowrie shells in the Bamileke kingdom of western Cameroon express power, wealth, and belonging to members of Kuosi society. In contrast, the minute visual details in South Sotho beadwork (as shown in this thethana) allow for family genealogy to be communicated at a glance.
Pendants for Necklaces
The suitable pendants for chains add instant style. Choose from vintage styles crafted in gold or silver on 1stDibs, including designs by luxury fine jewelry brands.
Artisans worldwide use adornment to express their identities, affiliations, and personal and socio-political status. Arts of adornment reveal minute visual details that communicate specific genealogy and lineage, even though they may be made by people living within 150 miles of each other.
Similarly, performances by members of the Kuosi society in the Bamileke kingdom of western Cameroon project notions of wealth and power through cloth masks embroidered with glass beads and cowrie shells. These visual expressions of international dialogue counter false narratives about isolated African societies and underscore the vitality of global exchange.
Pendants for Bracelets
The use of adornment to assert personal identity and affiliation is a universal practice across the African continent. Arts of adornment express both continuity and change, with local definitions of individual status and entitlement shifting based on time and context.
Among the objects displayed, visual accouterments can communicate complex messages to individuals within and beyond collective groups. These objects, for example, reveal their owners’ specific genealogy and family lineage through minute visual details.
Unique pendant necklaces are ideal for layering and accenting a look. Shop pendants adorned with diamonds, sapphires, and other stones to create the perfect accessory. Or, bring a sense of magical whimsy to your style with an organic and sculptural design by artist Amitai Kav.
Pendants for Earrings
Many men wear masculine pendants featuring swords, daggers, and eagle claws. Others go for designs reminiscent of their favorite rock stars or even simpler necklaces that match their everyday look.
Aside from aesthetics, adornments can also convey various broad social messages. Visual accouterments can link dress codes with specific affiliations and entitlements while emphasizing a new order of obligations or solidifying existing power structures.
In the exhibition, artist-craftsmen worldwide demonstrate how adornments can shape personal identity. The exhibition focuses on areas of the body where adornments have been used for centuries: the head, ears, mouth and face, neck, chest, arms and hands, and feet. The adornments include hair ornaments, forged bronze jewelry, woven wool necklaces, and more. The works show the powerful ways that beauty and adornment have been and continue to be employed by indigenous peoples to express their cultural identities.