This pendant is handcrafted by local artisans in the Bethlehem area.
The colourful stone at the intersection of the bars draws us to the vertical-horizontal symbolism of the cross: God’s love for us from “above,” expressed in love for neighbours beside us. Jesus perfectly modeled and proclaimed this divine-human love in his life, teaching, death, and resurrection.
About this Traditional Palestinian Craft
The making of jewellery and decorative items from Mother of Pearl is perhaps Bethlehem’s oldest and most established industry. The practice supposedly came to Bethlehem in the 15th century with the arrival of Franciscan friars. Locals soon mastered the art and made a modest living selling handmade items to the many pilgrims who streamed into Bethlehem. Traditionally, the sea shells and abalone were brought in from the Port of Aqaba on the Red Sea but now they are imported from Australia, California, New Zealand, and Brazil. Palestinian Christians, particularly the Zoughbi family in Bethlehem, have often received international recognition for their mastery of this art form. For more information about the history of Mother of Pearl Carving in Palestine, visit the 2007 publication of “This Week in Palestine”.