Necklace Pendants - How Jewelry Began

A major part of our development as a species has been through art. Cave paintings, small carved fertility symbols and jewelry all tell a story of our progress through time.

It's easy to imagine one of our long-ago ancestors picking up a pretty stone with a naturally occurring hole, examining it with curiosity then stringing it on something. One of the things we most certainly have in common with those that went before us is a natural inventiveness and interest in our environment.

I like to think that everyone then was an artist, that music and art were intertwined in their lives. Of course it's hard to know for sure if that's true, but I do know that some of the most beautiful ancient artwork was primitive and honest. It's too bad we can't also hear them sing and know what their music and voices sounded like.

The concept of the world as seen by its most intimate observers was really a snapshot using the materials they had to hand. I think that kind of "photograph" is vastly more interesting than the digital kind we have now. After all, you have to imagine the lives they led, which is already a creative activity.

Adorning one's body is a very old concept. The neck is an obvious place to hang something interesting from; it stays on easily and is positioned in a place where it will be seen by anyone approaching. I expect both males and females wore some type of necklace.

The animals killed for their flesh were thoroughly utilized. The fur was warm and put to use both as blankets and shelter. The bones made wonderful decorative pendants. They were easily drilled and perhaps carved as well.

Before jewelry was favored for beauty and status it must have been more important in a religious sense. And by that I mean as a talisman or just something to ward off evil. As artists gained skill they began to carve wood or bones into more creative shapes.

And then, of course, the utilization of silver and gold allowed even more detailed as well as valuable jewelry. Wouldn't it be wonderful to go back in time and see how the very first pendant using casting methods was created? Was it a "happy accident" or the result of a planned and postulated series of steps? I would imagine it was a little of both.

When I think about these things, it makes me feel connected to my brothers and sisters in the past. Their lives were so different, yet the urge to create something of personal beauty has persisted through the millennia.

And even more interesting is that the same basic forms that were worn decoratively then are worn today. Earrings, necklace pendants and bracelets have adorned our species for thousands and perhaps over a million years. Fashion and art are intertwined. And art is, after all, just another form of communication.

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Author: For some additional thoughts on this topic, see my website blog article on the History of Necklace Pendants. Gold Jewelry is an article that expands on the history of jewelry making, and Animal Jewelry talks about one of my favorite subjects!


Necklace Pendants - How Jewelry Began

8 comments:

Echo said...

It's a beautiful piece of jewelry.... too have a collection of white gold jewelry from SHOP.COM.

Mens said...

I just love that necklace, I actually have something similar to that and I'm interested to find the stylish men's necklace.

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