Black Marble Tuareg Tanfouk/Talhakimt charm ca. 1900

  • Hand carved well worn Black Marble Tanfouk/Talhakimt charm ca. 1900
  • Pendant measures approx. 2 3/8" long x 1 3/8" wide x 3/8" thick, 
  • Adjustable Cotton Cord : 20" to 40" long
  • From Mali, West Africa
  • These distinctive amulets are known as Tanfouk or Talhakimt. They are found across Islamic Africa, in particular among the nomadic Tuareg-Berber peoples of Niger, Mali and Algeria. Reddish Agate and Carnelian (Chalcedony) originating in India remained popular materials for Talhakimt, but by the 19th Century, they were also being made of stone, silver, glass and porcelain in the factories of India, France, Germany, Austria, and Italy for trade to Africa. They are available even today in contemporary plastics.
  • In Sudan in the 1930s, British scholar and administrator A. J. Arkell identified two main types of Tuareg ornaments – the arrowhead-ring type Talhakimt/ Tanfouk, and the metal Cross of Agadez— both worn as pendants and believed to bring Good Luck and Protection from Wrathful Djinn. The cross is not directly associated with either Christianity or Islam, but the four obliquities are believed to represent the four cardinal Points of Direction. Likewise, the Ring shape visually refers to the Feminine symbol, and the Male shape, the dagger, symbolizes the Masculine. Together, they form the Union of Male and Female, and are often believed by Tuareg People to be a potent Love Charm for attracting the opposite sex.

 



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