These decorative keys (for which there are no locks, at least not for these large types), called asaru or aswel in Tamacheq, are worn by Tuareg women who attach them to the end bit of their head and shoulder cloth (afer, adalil) which then is thrown over one shoulder. The weight of the key prevents the cloth from falling forward, while at the same time being a decorative feature with protective qualities.
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rotary quern (grinder (food processing & storage)); handle (general & multipurpose)
tweezers (toilet articles)
mask (dance & live theatre)
pipe (narcotics & intoxicants: smoking)
These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.
The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.
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