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Old Tanfouk (Talhakimt) & Conus Shell Tribal Hair Adornment, North Africa


A North African leather braided decorative hairpiece, adorned with conus shell slices and 10 carnelian/agate tanfouk (talhakimt), also brass pendants. Each piece is tied on individually to the main braid to form a unique hairpiece. The conus shell is a symbol of fertility and strength and offers perceived protection from the evil eye. This type of hair adornment was often worn by Guedra dancers (see photos). An unusual collectible piece.


Circa 1980


Leather, carnelian, shell & brass


110 cm total length


86.1 g




Grammet, I. and Meersman, M. (1998). Splendeurs du Maroc. Tervuren (Belgique): Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale, p. 32.

Fisher, A. (1998). Africa Adorned. New York: H. Abrams, p. 241.

Draguet, M. and Merode, N., 2020. Berber Memories. Yale University Press, p. 546

Photos by Jean Besancenot (1902-1992)