Southern Cross Pendant in Sterling Silver (925/1000) & Pearls

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Constellations Series #1: this pendant represents the Southern Cross, the key navigation beacon in the skies of the Southern Hemisphere. The design demonstrates the power of culture in influencing our perceptions.

The Tainui iwi (Māori settlers of the Waikato) knew the constellation as an anchor - Te Punga*; the iwi of the Wairarapa recognised the diamond shape as a gap - Māhutonga - in Te Ikaroa (the Milky Way) - which the storm winds blew through*; and the later European settlers saw the cross of their Christian heritage.

All three viewpoints are incorporated in the design. The cultured freshwater Pearls have been selected to represent the colours of the stars in the Southern Cross as perceived from Earth, and the body of the pendant is constructed from c. 13.65 gms of Sterling Silver.

The necklace is created from bamboo-fibre yarn - a very soft fibre - using the Medieval technique of "finger-loop braiding" using five loops. The findings are hand-made Sterling Silver.

* in "Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand"

For another interpretation see Constellations Series #2

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