necklace (neck ornament (personal adornment)); protective charm

A necklace, with a pendant of five diamond / rhombus shaped eggshells mounted on layered blackened leather. Their arrangement forms a rough trapeze. At the top there is a leather strap, through which the tawlulut (leather, multi-stringed necklace) is threaded. This type of khomeyssa (made with bone or shell) is more common in Mali, whereas silver ones (see 2007.155) are more widespread among the Kel Ahaggar (in Algeria) and the Kel Ifoghas (south-western Niger). The taneghelt necklaces are characteristic for the Kel Aïr and Kel Gress (between Agadez and Zinder). This pendant has protective qualities, which are enhanced by the five shells, five being a magical number within the Islamic tradition. It protects against the evil eye.

The collector, Ursel Widemann, was told by the seller that it is made from leather and ostrich shell. In most books and catalogues on Tuareg jewellery, the diamond shapes are said to be made of bone.

Collection Information

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