A Berber necklace

14 October 2020

A Berber necklace from the Ida Ou Semlal, Western Anti-Atlas, Morocco

Symbols of prosperity, genuine or dummy coins have been frequently incorporated into necklaces and head adornments by many populations of the Arab-Muslim world. Once melted in a crucible with damaged or discarded jewelry, they were also used as a raw material. The large central pearl, tagmout, suggesting fertility, embellishes some necklaces and fibulas linked by a chain. The expensive amber is fossil resin from the Baltic Sea.

From a notice by A. Vanderstraete in Monnaies-objets d’échange, Afrique, Asie, Océanie, Genève, 2016.

Berber necklace
Berber necklace, Ida Ou Semlal, Western Anti-Atlas, Morocco. L. 60 cm. Inv. 1000-45.
Photo Studio Ferrazzini Bouchet. MUSEE BARBIER-MUELLER.

To learn more about jewellery from Southern Morocco, download the article by Ivo Grammet published in Arts & Cultures 2011.