Height: 2 inches
Width: 3/4 inch
Weight: 4.4 grams
Hand Crafted in South Africa
This unique pendant was handmade in Johannesburg by a jeweler who grew up in Soweto, after studying the art of jewelry making, he then decided to combine the modern mediums with ancient African mediums; the result is a unique and beautiful piece of jewelry.
This oval pendant is made of sterling silver with San art cut outs. This art is typically seen inside caves. Each figure has been painstakingly cut out by hand.
About the Bushmen.
When 4000 years ago nomads came into contact with the much longer established hunter-gatherers of Southern Africa, they called them San meaning food gatherers. In the 17th century the Dutch colonized the Cape of Good Hope and called the hunter-gatherers of the plains Boschjemannen which translates to Bushmen. Bushmen are the longest surviving tribe of Southern Africa they are descendents of the Stone Age people.
About Rock Art.
The Europeans who first saw the Rock Art were fascinated but dismissive of their importance. Now days the true value and meaning of their art is being deciphered and appreciated., their art not only shows actual events that happened but are messages full of intricate and complex nuances in the symbols, metaphors and religious meaning.
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant. The giraffe's scientific name, which is similar to its antiquated English name of camelopard, refers to its irregular patches of color on a light background, which bear a token resemblance to a leopard's spots. The average mass for an adult male giraffe is 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb) while the average mass for an adult female is 830 kilograms (1,800 lb). It is approximately 4.3 metres (14 ft) to 5.2 metres (17 ft) tall, although the tallest male recorded stood almost 6 metres (20 ft).
The giraffe is related to other even-toed ungulates, such as deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family, the Giraffidae, consisting of only the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi. Its range extends from Chad in Central Africa to South Africa. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, or open woodlands. However, when food is scarce they will venture into areas with denser vegetation. They prefer areas with plenty of acacia growth. They will drink large quantities of water when available, which enables them to live for extended periods in dry, arid areas.
The giraffe is one of only two living species of the family Giraffidae, along with the okapi. The family was once much more extensive, with numerous other species. The giraffids evolved from a 3 metres (9.8 ft) tall antelope-like mammal that roamed Europe and Asia some 3050 million years ago.
The earliest known giraffid was Climacoceras, which still resembled deer, having large antler-like ossicones. It first appeared in the early Miocene epoch. Later examples include the genera Palaeotragus and Samotherium, which appeared in the early to mid-Miocene. They were both tall at the shoulder, and had developed the simple, unbranched ossicones of modern giraffids, but still had relatively short necks.
From the late Pliocene onwards, the variety of giraffids drastically declined, until only the two surviving species remained. The modern genus Giraffa evolved during the Pliocene epoch, and included a number of other long-necked species, such as Giraffa jumae, that do not survive today. Alan Turner proposes, in the 2004 book Evolving Eden, that giraffe ancestors initially had a dark coat with pale spots, and that the spots gradually became star-shaped, before eventually forming the reticulated pattern found today. The modern species, Giraffa camelopardalis, appeared during the Pleistocene 1 million years ago.
The evolution of the long necks of giraffes has been the subject of much debate. The standard story is that they were evolved to allow the giraffes to browse vegetation that was out of the reach of other herbivores in the vicinity, giving them a competitive advantage. However, an alternative theory proposes that the long necks evolved as a secondary sexual characteristic, giving males an advantage in "necking" contests (see below) to establish dominance and obtain access to sexually receptive females. This theory notes that giraffes frequently feed from relatively low-lying shrubs, and that the necks of males are significantly longer than those of females. However, this theory is not universally accepted, and some of the data supporting it has recently been challenged, lending support to the original proposal that neck length is related to browsing habits.
Different authorities recognize different numbers of subspecies, differentiated by colour and pattern variations and range. Some of these subspecies may prove to in fact be separate species. The subspecies recognized by various authorities include:
Reticulated Giraffe or Somali Giraffe (G. c. reticulata) large, polygonal liver-coloured spots outlined by a network of bright white lines. The blocks may sometimes appear deep red and may also cover the legs. Range: northeastern Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia.
Angolan Giraffe or Smoky Giraffe (G. c. angolensis) large spots and some notches around the edges, extending down the entire lower leg. Range: Angola, Zambia.
Kordofan Giraffe (G. c. antiquorum) smaller, more irregular spots that cover the inner legs. Range: western and southwestern Sudan, Cameroon
Maasai Giraffe or Kilimanjaro Giraffe (G. c. tippelskirchi) jagged-edged, vine-leaf shaped spots of dark chocolate on a yellowish background. Range: central and southern Kenya, Tanzania.
Nubian Giraffe (G. c. camelopardalis) large, four-sided spots of chestnut brown on an off-white background and no spots on inner sides of the legs or below the hocks. Range: eastern Sudan, northeast Congo.
Rothschild Giraffe or Baringo Giraffe or Ugandan Giraffe (G. c. rothschildi) deep brown, blotched or rectangular spots with poorly defined cream lines. Hocks may be spotted. Range: Uganda, north-central Kenya.
South African Giraffe (G. c. giraffa) rounded or blotched spots, some with star-like extensions on a light tan background, running down to the hooves. Range: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique.
Thornicroft Giraffe or Rhodesian Giraffe (G. c. thornicrofti) star-shaped or leafy spots extend to the lower leg. Range: eastern Zambia.
West African Giraffe or Nigerian Giraffe (G. c. peralta) numerous pale, yellowish red spots. Range: Niger.
Some scientists regard Kordofan and West African Giraffes as a single subspecies; similarly with Nubian and Rothschild's Giraffes, and with Angolan and South African Giraffes. Further, some scientists regard all populations except the Masai Giraffes as a single subspecies. By contrast, scientists have proposed four other subspecies Cape Giraffe (G. c. capensis), Lado Giraffe (G. c. cottoni), Congo Giraffe (G. c. congoensis), and Transvaal Giraffe (G. c. wardi) but none of these is widely accepted.
Though giraffes of these populations interbreed freely under conditions of captivity, suggesting that they are subspecific populations, genetic testing published in 2007, has been interpreted to show that there may be at least six species of giraffe that are reproductively isolated and not interbreeding, even though no natural obstacles, like mountain ranges or impassable rivers block their mutual access. In fact, the study found that the two giraffe populations that live closest to each other the reticulated giraffe (G. camelopardalis reticulata) of north Kenya, and the Masai giraffe (G. c. tippelskirchi) in south Kenya separated genetically between 0.13 and 1.62 million years BP, judging from genetic drift in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.