Old Mauritanian Silver 'Tasbih' Necklace
An old Saharan ‘Tasbih’ necklace from Mauritania with silver, agate and glass beads of varying sizes, also real amber beads (UV tested) and silk tassels. The name ‘Tasbih’ or 'Tesbih' refers to the traditional prayer beads which this necklace resembles in form.
This long and heavy necklace would have been worn by Guedra dancers over the fine blue cloth that covered their shape and would be used not only as decorative adornment but also to hold their veils in place whilst dancing (see image).
An unusual, interesting and collectible piece of ethnic adornment.
Photo of Guedra dancers: copyright Irving Penn 1971.
Silver (tested), agate, amber, glass & silk
Circ. 92.0 cm
Tassels: 10 cm
Fisher, A. (1998). Africa Adorned. New York: H. Abrams, p. 218.
Al-Jadir, S. (1996). Kunuz. Casablanca: LAK International, p. 264.