Tuareg jewellery

The Tuareg people (Twareg, Touareg) are Berber nomadic people living in the interior Sahara region of North Africa. They call themselves Kel Tamasheq (Kel Tamajaq), Imuhagh, Imazaghan (“the Free people”) and Kel Tagelmust (“People of the Veil”). There are some 5.2 million Tuaregs.

Tuareg jewellery
Tuareg jewellery

They make different jewellery. Its purpose is much more protective than the decorative one. Their jewellery is made of silver and other metals. The designs have changed a little over time. The most important examples of the Tuareg jewellery are “tanaghilt” or “zakkat” (“the Agadez Cross”), necklaces called “Takaza” and earrings called “Tizabaten”.

Agadez Cross
Agadez Cross

The Agadez Cross is actually a beautifully designed necklace. It was named after the historic city of Agadez located in the northern Niger. This city was founded in the 11th century. It is the centre of Tuareg culture. It is believed that the design of this necklace was made before the arrival of Islam. Some say that it has the Christian influence. There are opinions that the Cross symbolize four corners of the World. The Agadez Cross is passed from father to son. In time of need the Tuaregs use it as sort of currency. There are different designs of the Cross. They show from which town the wearer is from.