Jewellery Stall at Janzur Festival
Tools of the Tuareg Blacksmith
Tuareg Multi Tool
Who did really invent the Swiss knife?
Antique Tuareg lock & Key. Private collection of Temehu.com.
Dim. (12 cm x 8 cm).
The above lock is a genuine piece of Tuareg metal-work. Tuareg
women use locks to close their jewellery bags, which are rectangular,
cast iron boxes decorated with layers of silver, tin, copper, leather
and brass. The lock mechanism is hidden in the metal casing and cannot
be accessed from the top nor from any other side. Different springs
are released when the key, assrou, or tinast in other Berber languages, presses
them together. Each lock can only be opened using the specially designed
key. The key is placed in the hole near the end, then pulled towards
the other end, where the springs click open and the actual lock, with
the pin comes off. It can be closed simply by pushing it back in position.
There is no way of hacking this kind of lock and therefore is fully secure.
The design is very ancient and similar locks are found in Chinese literature.
The modern Tuareg lock.
The Tuareg Cross
Vintage (1950s) Tuareg cross-necklace. Private collection
This genuine and vintage Tuareg Cross Necklace is
made of silver Berber crosses and vintage coloured glass beads. The Crosses
are normally worn on their own and rarely found in a necklace like this
one, except in some modern variants. The symbolism of the cross is almost
identical to the Assrou n Swoul (described above) and carries the same
geometrical elements. The back of the crosses are normally engraved with
Tuareg tifinagh (script), representing the name of the owner,
to afford protection to the wearer. They are often made of silver, which
is more valued than gold in Tuareg society, although gold commercial
variants can be found in modern shops.
The Tuareg Cross.
This Tuareg necklace
represents the "hand".