Jewelry Photos At left: Tcherot talisman box, made of brass and decorated with silver and copper, contains pieces of paper on which are written verses from the Koran, or old magical formulas known to the Marabout, the holy man. At right: Hamadaba Muhammad, chief of a faction of the Niger group of Tuareg living in Mali, has three beautiful brass Tcherot boxes attached to his indigo veil; the front one is inscribed as a further sign of prestige.Assrou N”Swoul counterweight veil pendants made of brass, iron and copper are received by a girl as a gift from her mother. Their size indicates the wealth of the girl’s family. The method of laminating used on these pendants is known as the “sandwich” technique, which involves very time consuming and delicate work by the Mauritanian smiths.Tcherot, talisman boxes made of silver and sometimes decorated with copper and brass, contain written verses from the Koran or old magic formulae known to the Marabout, the holy man. The shell Khomissar pendant, second from left, in the form of a styalized hand, is believed to ward off the evil eye and being made of shell doubles as a fertility symbol.At left: An Assrou N’Swoul counterweight pendant from Mauritania. At right: A young woman from Mali wears a shell Khomissar pendant hanging from fine leather thongs around her neck and has an Assrou N’Swoul pendant attached to her veil. On a long cord hanging from her neck she wears a silver talisman box for protection. Her Jewelery is of Tuareg design, though her hair, decorated with shells, shows she is of Mauritanian origin.At left: A Tuareg woman wears Tsabit earrings with terminating pyramid knobs. The flat side of the pyramid is often signed by the smith with his name, the name of the beneficiary, and the name of the donor. At Center: fine necklaces with geometrically shaped silver pendants, Tchatchat, are often worn by women and girls. These pendants may represent the Saharan clay dolls with fat bottoms and open arms that symbolize fertility, as do the small triangular beads of red glass. At Right: A Tuareg women wearing a necklace with a central silver pendant, Lahia, which she believe is the ‘good eye’, worn to counteract the evil eye.At left: A Tuareg girl, wearing all of her jewelry when she attends a wedding ceremony. The collection of pendants at her neck include two Agadez crosses and a silver and glass pendant from Ingal. She also wears a Tcherot talisman box made of silver on long leather cords, and silver Tsabit earrings. At right: Tuareg crosses, now worn as pendants around the neck, were originally worn by men, passed down from father to son when the boy reached puberty. The father would say: ‘My son, I give you the four corners of world because one cannot know where one will die.’ Most of the cross designs are named after oasis towns between Agadez in NIger and the Hoggar Mountains to the north.At left: A collection of silver Boghdad pendants; their variations in design reflect the different regions they come from in Mauritania. Soldered beads of pyramid and rhomboid shape are used in ornaments throughout Mauritania. At center: Khalakahl anklets of solid silver were the prerogative of the nobility in Mauritania; now they are worn by any woman who can afford them. Usually engraved with protective symbols, they safeguard against the evil eye and protect the feet from thorns and snakes. At right: a unique Tcherot talisman box with moveable layers, constructed on top of the silver container. The box is threaded on multiple leather cords, featuring Tanfouk carnelian pendants for further protection.This seven-year-old girl from Mauritania wears a small protective talisman box called Kitab on a leather necklace threaded with glass beads. Moorish women’s jewelry, although similar in concept to that of the Tuareg, is more ornate and flamboyant – a result of Arab influence since the eight century. The techniques of Mauritanian silversmiths are varied and technically advanced, but their intricate work lacks the purity of line of Tuareg ornaments. At right: The four silver neck pendants, Boghdad, are talismans holding Koranic verses. Beads of glass and carnelian are popular in Mauritanian necklaces, and silk tasseles are attached to the silver prayer necklaces worn by Griotes, professional singers and storytellers.At left: The bracelets with soldered bead decoration are of Mauritanian origin. As a result of the severe drought in 1973, many Moors moved southwards into Mali, spreading Mauritanian jewelry designs into Tuareg territory. At center: The central bracelet, Mizam, is one of the pieces of jewelry most favoured by Mauritanian women. The two outer bracelets, from the south of Mauritania, are made of gazelle horn, and decorated with silver. At right: a Tuareg woman wears silver bracelets with faceted knobs known as “Elkiss”. The blue glass bangles are from Nigeria.At right: Finger rings, Tisek, are passed between Tuareg men and women as signs of affection. The finger rings shown here are worn by the Tuareg in Mali, the larger ones by men. Those with carnelian settings are believed to have the same properties as Tanfouk pendants in healing wounds and driving away the evil eye. At left: A Bella woman’s jewellery shows the influence of the Tuareg. Her hair pendants include a silver Agadez cross, glass pendants and silver and carnelian rings (the rings are traditioanlly worn on the fingers by the Tuareg).At left: Tera silver pendants have small triangular pieces of tin,called Tchatchat, hanging from them. The Tera pendants are rarely seen today. Center: A Khomissar pendant, worn by Tuareg women is made of sheet silver mounted on leather. Its five sections represent the five fingers of Fatima’s hand (daughter of the Prophet Mohammed) and are believed to ward off the evil eye. Below is a Kohmissar of more complex design. It is a powerful protective symbol for women of high standing. At right: Tan Erat Tantamut is another talisman, decorated with fine repoussé work. Rarely seen today, it was either worn attached to the headdress of masked warriors or by high ranking women.An eleborate silver cane, denoting his high status, is carried by the Chief of the Market in the city of Agadez. For the Saharan Nomads, whose life is limited in material posessions, the smiths are much more than professional jewelry craftsmen. They make all the material posessions, from swords, tools, and camel saddles to tent pegs and wooden bowls and are a major source of Tuareg creative expression.At left: An ornamental Tuareg knife made of silver and brass and inlaid ebony with a decorative leather container which conceals a very sharp iron blade. Center and right: Mauritanian metal amulet boxes covered in leather are often decorated with incised patterns or silver plaques. Copper is believd to have medicinal properties, and when used together with brass has a neutralising effect on the adverse qualities of iron and tin used to make amulet boxes, knives and swords.At left: A Tuareg herder wears three brass talisman boxes containing magical verses, or verses from the Koran in a desire to protect his family and herds from the severe hardships of the desert. At right, anti-clockwise from top left: A small rare engraved brass pendant worn by Tuareg women. A brass talisman box decorated with motifs which represent the sandals of the Prophet, a symbol of prestige for Tuareg people. A brass talisman box, backed with copper, is worn by men. A brass talisman box, backed with tin, is worn by women.