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Making Tuareg Jewellery

Handmade in Niger by the Koumamas family, considered the best of the Tuareg silversmiths. The Tuareg are a nomadic Berber tribe who live in the North African Sahara. They were once known as the Blue People of the Sahara because of the indigo-dyed turbans and veils that would stain their skin. They're known for their engraved silver jewelry; the Tuareg subclass called Inadan means people who work with fire and metal; blacksmiths. Using only simple hand tools and implements that could be easily transported on camels (screwdrivers, nails, safety pins, files, charcoal and handheld bellows) Tuareg craftsmen have plied their trade for centuries. Our 99%-pure silver pendant is entirely handmade by the Koumama Family Cooperative in Agadez and Niamey, Niger. It's necklace is an example of a small "festival" pendant that would commonly be worn for marriages, festivals, and baby-naming ceremonies. The Koumamas are considered the best of the Tuareg silversmiths. Fine silver is formed into a thick sheet and then shaped into the pendant. Engraving is done freehand using a simple tool that looks like a sharpened Phillips screwdriver, and then strung with onyx and handmade silver beads. Your purchase supports our non-profit mission of preservation, exploration, education and conservation.

Take a tour with Elhadji Koumama visiting his silversmiths in Agadez and Niamey Niger. The artisans proudly show their traditional methods and design passed down through generations of Tuareg craftsmen.

Traditional song by Ekowell.


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