This rustic, early 1900's Brazilian amulet charm brooch is known as a penca de balangandans. Most were made in the Bahia region of Brazil. These are designed so that they can be opened and other charms can be added as needed. It can be worn on a chain as a pendant as well. There is a lot of lore connected to this type of Latin American jewelry. They are said to bring good luck and abundance. Each charm represents something, the fruit, fertility, the birds, freedom, and so on. It's a wonderful old piece fashioned from 900 silver.
Features a two bird crested crown (rhinestone eyes) with a hinged/screw release bar which holds charms. Contains 9 highly detailed, three-dimensional charms, such as a pear, grapes, pineapple, apple, and water or wine pitchers. Measures 2 3/8" inches wide X 2.5" inches tall. Weighs slightly more than 30 grams. Uniquely designed and crafted in an appealing primitive styling.
Bit O' History: A real Bahiana (woman of Bahia) always wears her Penca de Balangandan or Balandandã necklace on parade Sunday of Carnival. This rare charm pin/pendant is a part of History and Folk tradition in Brazil. It is said that Brazilian Slaves wore theirs as a combination of memories from the land they were so forcefully taken from and of religious images that brought them comfort.
Nowadays, pencas de balangandan are more similar to a charm necklace. Each charm tells a story or pays homage to a place, event, spiritual belief, a memento of our memories.Each element has a meaning to the wearer.
Item ID: RL-4136
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