In Ethiopia, meskel crosses are handmade using the lost-wax casting process which requires the molds to be broken after every cast, resulting in unique, one-off creations. As artisans became more skilled, the patterns on the crosses became more intricate.
The elaborate patterns and designs we see today aren't the result of mindless doodling; they're designed in a single, unbroken line to symbolize 'eternity'. Artisans living and working in close proximity often produced crosses similar in design and pattern resulting in meskel crosses serving as identification documents for a town or a province in Ethiopia.
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