Kifi means “fish” in Hausa, a language that originates from and is widely spoken in Central Africa. The striking pendant in this Kifi Necklace takes the abstract form of a fish and is made from upcycled cow horn. Brass and copper wire is intricately inlaid into this ornamental shape using a technique that is used by artisans from the Toposa tribe in South Sudan. The fish is symbolic in many cultures around the world and broadly symbolises femininity, good luck and happiness.
In African mythology, ancient creation myths tell of Mangala, the creator, planting seeds in the cosmic womb. From these seeds two fish erupted, and were set forth into the cosmos upon the waters of creation. In this context, the fish represents fertility and creativity by embodying a new phase of initial life. Sponge coral beads complement the pendant both visually and thematically as both elements stem from the ocean. Water is associated with depth of knowledge and birth as a result of the common concept that life springs from water.
The coral is durable, intensely coloured and has a natural waxy lustre. It originates from the South China Sea and is notable for its porous structure and distinctive orange-yellow vein patterning. In mythology, Coral was regarded to provide protection, particularly from evil influences. It symbolises life and blood force energy and has been used for stimulating the bloodstream. It has long been used as a form of adornment and also as an amulet in various societies.
Old brass and copper beads from West Africa separate the coral and add to the earthy richness of this Kifi Necklace. It is finished off with a handmade brass chain and clasp from Kenya and a gold plated SHIKHAZURI charm.