Chachal necklaces from Guatamala and southern Mexico were often made with Venetian glass beads that were traded by European travelers in the "New World." The trade beads used in this necklace are "padre beads," which get their name because they were brought to the Americas (and Africa) often by by Spanish missionaries and friars, and traders, who would use them as a form of currency. "Padre" means "Father" or priest in Spanish. This style of bead was often found on rosaries, in the 16th through 18th centuries, and were the color of sky blue that the beads on this necklace displays. Two of the coins on this necklace were from 1912 (one of the coins has the hole going through the date, so not sure on that one), although more than likely the necklace was either strung or restrung within the past forty years. The beads may be older or newer; it's hard to date trade beads as they've been made continuously. Chachal necklaces such as this one have been made for centuries, but they especially became fashionable with the hippie movement of the 1960s to 1970s, and based on provenance, we believe this necklace was strung in that timeframe. A fun and versatile piece, which one could also use to adorn a saint on an altar if you're not inclined to wear the necklace.
The necklace measures about 23-1/2" and does not have a clasp; it slips over the head to wear. Bead sizes vary but most are about 4mm wide and slightly shorter. Total weight is 46g.
Jewelry with history!
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