African brass pendants are perhaps some of the most beautiful brass pendants available today. Created using the "Lost Wax" technique, these pendants have become increasingly more difficult to find. We are glad to offer you one of the most wide selections of African pendants on the web. We hand pick each of these pendants during our travels to West Africa, to ensure only the highest quality pendants make it to your door.
Beautifully ornate, and highly elaborate in design; African Brass Pendants are the perfect embellishment for a simple chain or one-tone beaded necklace, yet may also be recognized as bracelet charms, since some are little bigger than a dime. African Brass Pendants are not native to one specific region of Africa. In fact, brass-making on the continent spans a number of different municipal areas where brass was originally mined such as the Ivory Coast, or where recycled brass is particularly abundant – Ghana.
Baoule brass has dominated the market for African Metal Beads and pendants for eons, since the tribe are rumored to be one of the earliest producers. Native to the Ivory Coast, the Baoule tribe utilized a process known as the “lost wax method” (still the most commonly used today.) African Brass Pendants were cast similarly to beads, from a manipulated wax template, set within a mold. The smelted brass would then be filtered into the mold from a hole at the top, taking form within the wax “cage” as it cooled.
African Brass Pendants are handmade from start to finish, which is why you'll find no two pendants are of uniform exactness. Handmade molds also allowed for Baoule artisans to get truly creative in their brass-work, adding filigree designs, whorls and spots to the pendant. Some were manipulated into the form of animals like serpents and birds for protective amulets and ritualistic purposes.
Few African Brass Pendants survive from early Baoule production, however a revival in African brass practice from the 1960's onward has once again influenced high demand for pendants. The resourceful populace of Ghana are notorious for their recycled glass bead exports, however their Baoule learned practices are also being revived by the Ashanti tribe– utilizing recyclable materials such as defunct currency coins, padlocks and discarded radiator pipes. Now, the eclectic diversity of Ghana Brass Bead pendants is more abundant than ever – creations ranging from elaborate spoked disks with filigree detailing, to the Coptic ankh or cross, celebrating the Sun God. African Coptic Crosses originate from Ethiopia and range greatly in size, from as small as 3 cm, to around 8cm in length. All tend to feature a uniform circle at the heart of the cross, with interwoven plaiting to each point. These pendants are decidedly more rustic in appearance since the designs are enhanced by hand engraving, and tend to be hammered flat. While most are produced using a modern silver alloy, brass is once again becoming a popular alternative.
Pendants vary greatly in style, size and ergonomics – some taking the shape of coin-like amulets, while others are of the caged bead variety, more commonly referred to as filigree pendants. All feature a distinctive looping hole or small barrel, through which a chain may be thread. Popular uses for African Brass Pendants are bohemian or ethnic charm bracelets – an accessory that never goes out of style!