Old Yalalag Silver Cross Necklace from Mexico
This one of a kind Yalalteca necklace is from the remote village of San Juan Yalalag, high in the mountains east of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is made of hand-wrought silver beads and coin silver components. The small spherical beads feature a beautiful patina and are interspersed with a collection of six crosses of different sizes and styles and various Mexican coins that date to the 19th C. To this rich assemblage is added the distinctive Yalalag cross pendant featuring daggling pomegranates and cast silver birds, a favorite regional motif. The central axis terminates in a small double barred cross. The design of this cross, with the "immaculate heart" terminal, was introduced to Mexico and North America by Spanish priests.
The necklace is 31" long (including the pendant). The cross pendant measures 2.5" x 4.75 "
This charming piece is from a private collection and was collected before 1940. Yalalag necklaces such as this are rarely seen today and are very desirable to collectors of traditional jewelry.
See Mexican Jewelry, Davis and Pack, University of Texas Press, 1963, for additional information.