Tuareg jewelry – Tamachek or Tamahaq: the name Twaregh derives from Arabic and in Berber means “inhabitant of Targa”, Libyan region in the Sahara Desert.
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Also known as “blue men”, the Tuareg owe their name to the indigo turban, the taguelmust: worn by men to cover their heads and faces, leaves uncovered only their eyes and, because dyed with natural colors, leaves traces of color on the skin.
Their economic activities, once mainly related to sheep farming and caravan trade, now have shifted to simple businesses, focusing on crafts, including the creation of beautiful jewelry made in silver, wood and leather, an art that has been handed down from father to son in order to keep alive the traditions of this proud people.
The realization of silver jewelry (gold is forbidden for religious reasons) is not only aimed to the production of decorative objects, but strongly associated with the personal status of the family and tribe they belong: this is the case of Crosses, of which we can count more than twenty.
Decorative motifs of Tuareg jewelry are mainly based on geometric lines that recall the hard and difficult living conditions in the countries of the desert: the triangle represents woman as a universal matrix but is also a reference to the Egyptian goddess Tanit, which dominated all the forces of nature; the square represents the earth, perfect symbol of Creation; small circular elements resemble both millet seeds, chief food of the nomadic tribes, as well as the stars of heaven.
In some of the oldest artifacts, old European currencies, as French francs or Maria Theresa thalers, have been used as decorative elements: they brought to the wearer protection and wealth.
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