Ethiopian Processional Cross
This authentic Ethiopian Processional Cross is available from Birdwoods Gallery. They are a collectors piece and every one we have ever had has been slightly different in design. This one is no exception.
Dimensions: 19cm high, 8cm wide.
Acrylic base: 10cm square.
Here are a few details:
The cross as an image of Christianity has been associated with the country of Ethiopia since the 4th century when Emperor Ezana accepted the new faith and engraved coins with the symbol to spread the message. The Ethiopian Kingdom was probably the second country (after Armenia) to embrace the Christian faith but there is evidence that Christianity thrived in the country even in the 1st century. For most of the Ethiopia’s history since, the state religion has been Orthodox Christianity.
Several different styles and types of crosses have been used as symbols of the Christian faith. The Procession crosses, each with a hollowed shaft mounted on a long wooden pole, are carried above the heads of followers in processions and religious ceremonies.
Each cross is handcrafted using the lost-wax method ensuring each piece is unique. The material used is normally an alloy of silver, copper and nickel.
Rather than the familiar European Latin Cross, the Ethiopian Cross has a distinctive 'African' appearance with an elaborate baroque style or filigree reflecting the richness of the hearts of people in the Coptic Church. Geometric patterns are common in Ethiopian art and there is order and meaning in the intertwined lattice style which represents everlasting life and also relates to the nature of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.