Saharan Tuareg and Berber history is fascinating!
Lately I have been drawn to these vintage hand crafted silver bangles with notches. To me, they resemble peaks in the Sahara desert. Their simplicity and flow led me to investigate more about them.
The bangles were made by a second generation Sanhaja tribe, later Tuaregs.
The Tuaregs were considered "Free People" they were a liberated semi-nomadic tribe traveling through the desert on camels and horseback, following their herd and returning to a base land to grow crops.
They would stop on various trade routes to sell their valuables. Their jewellery was of the highest quality as a small valuable items took up less space when trekking through the desert. They sometimes had jewellery made out of silver coins by local silversmiths in celebration of marriage, symbolizing status or wear amulets with symbols which would protect from evil spirits.
While women of the Tuareg community don't have to wear veils, quite uniquely the men cover their faces with traditional indigo-dyed veils to protect themselves from the harsh desert sand and not remove them, not even in front of family. The women own and tend to their tents and cattle free and unveiled.
Their practices are progressive, giving women an equal if not more important status in their community. They are leaders of their society and family. Women are respected and they are sacred to the culture of Tuareg society. Tuareg culture is largely matrilineal. Women play an important role as external but important influences in political discussions. Men will consult with their wives and mothers before making any important choices.
Pre-marital sex is not a taboo, and divorce is not shameful. Sometimes divorce parties are thrown to let eligible suitors know the divorced women is available. Once divorced, the woman keeps all the belongings and the man has to start over.
Much of the Tuareg and Berber jewellery is symbolic. They believe in continuous presence of various spirits and feel protected with symbolic amulets that contain verses from the Koran.
A little history so intriguing. Hope you enjoy our story and these magical bangles from the past. All made of high quality silver. All the bangles are measured by the inner dimension. The size that fits most is 2.5 inches. Most of the bangles are found much smaller as the bone structure of these women were smaller. This makes the larger ones harder to come by. We are continuously searching for more.