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Ethnic and Tribal Jewelry: Africa

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:: Wholesale prices (to shops) are listed :: Retail prices (to individuals) are double ::

African Jewelry:
nomadic Tuareg and Berber earrings,
and pieces from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania

Tuareg tribe tsabit earrings

The nomadic Tuareg are often called 'the blue people' due to their use of indigo cloth which can leave a blue hue on their skin. Known for being fierce warriors and expert desert survivors, this is one tribe you wouldn't want to mess with!

Examples of these can also be found on p. 41 in A World of Earrings, p. 35 in Ethnic Jewellery,
and pages 202, 210, and 212-213 in Africa Adorned, which shows them being worn by Tuareg women.
Most Tuareg earrings measure in the vicinitiy of 6 gauge or so (including 7ga and 5ga).
They are very similar to the related Tuareg bracelets with the same knobs, called elkis.

*Tuareg tribe tsabit tribal hoop shaped earrings*

Women's earrings from the nomadic Tuareg tribe of North Africa, called tsabit.
Because all of these are over $150/pair, there is no retail mark-up on them;
thus anyone is welcome to order them at these prices.
Prices are $175, $225, or $225/pair, in the order shown for these three different large pairs.

The first pair weighs approximately 1.12 to 1.14 ounces (31.7 to 32.3grams)/each,
and are around ≤5ga. $175/pair.
The middle pair shown are 1.22 to 1.26 ounces (34.5 to 35.6 grams)/each,
and one piece is around 6ga, while the other piece is around 5ga. $225/pair.
The bottom pair is 1.39 to 1.50 ounces (39.2 to 42.7 grams)/each,
and are ±5ga. $225/pair.

*one pair Tuareg tribal tsabit earrings 100*
*Tuareg tribe tsabit 2 pairs earrings*
*one pair Tuareg tribal tsabit earrings 300*

A few versions shown of more typically sized tsabit:
The top pair are a little different from each other and are thus merely $100/pair.
They weigh .98 to 1.16 ounces (27.7 to 33.0 grams)/each,
and are around 7ga and oval in cross-section at the wearing surface.
The bottom pair still have quite angular knobs and exquisite incised decorations. $300/pair.
These are around 1.63 ounces (46.2 grams)/each, are slightly faceted
and around >6ga but <5ga on the wearing surfaces.
There is no retail mark-up on this bottom pair; anyone may order at these prices.

*two pair Tuareg tribal tsabit earrings*

More Tuareg tribe hoop earrings:
Two small tsabit pairs. $100/pair.
The left-hand pair weight around .58 ounces (16.5 grams)/each
and are between 7ga and 6ga and have twisted wires.
The right-hand pair are .56 to .61 ounces (15.8 to 17.2 grams)/each, are ≥6ga,
and are faceted into approximately a pentagonal shape in cross-section at the wearing surface.
One is a little bit brassier than the other.

*now 6 was 9 pairs small Tuareg tribe tsabit tribal hoop earrings*

Tuareg tribe traditional women's tsabit earrings, shown in order of weight:
the top left pairs on each of the thumbnails are lightest and the bottom right pairs are heaviest.
Please click these thumbnail images to view versions posted at life size.
More affordable than what we've been able to offer them for in the past... How exciting!

This image shows six pairs of small to medium tsabit:
.42oz (11.8grams)/each, up to .475oz (13.4grams)/each. $90/pair.

*9 pairs big large Tuareg tribe tsabit earrings*

This image has nine pairs of medium to large tsabit:
.83oz (23.7grams)/each, up to 2.36oz (66.9grams)/each. $125/pair.
The pair (#C) in the 2nd row, shown by itself, have SOLD.

*1 ex-small large Tuareg tsabit earrings*

This bottom pair, shown by themselves at full size,
weigh .94oz (26.6grams)/each, and are $125/pair.

More Tuareg tribe earrings

*2 pair circa 1970s Tuareg tribe earrings*

Two pair Tuareg tribe thin earrings circa 1970's.
Around 17ga or so. $25/pair.
The left-hand pair has SOLD.
An additional piece is shown on the right
to give an idea of the side view and hook design.

*old Tuareg earrings ebony inlay*

Old Tuareg earrings with engraving and likely ebony inlay.
<12ga. $80/pair.

More tribal hoop earrings

*Tuareg tribe tsabit earrings metal 1* *Tuareg tribe tsabit earrings metal 2* *Tuareg tribe tsabit earrings metal 3*

Base metal earrings, like less refined Tuareg tribe tsabit,
but also similar to Egyptian designs and other similar North African hoops - perhaps Saharwi.
Because they aren't silver, these earrings are super affordable. $40-$50/pair.
Click on these thumbnail-sized images to view ones posted at life size.
- In the left-hand image: Top #A ≤5ga ($45), Middle #B >4ga and 3ga (SOLD), Bottom #C 3ga and >3ga ($40/pair)
- In the middle image: Top #D >5ga and <4ga ($45), Middle #E >4ga ($40), Bottom #F >6ga ($50/pair)
- In the right-hand image: Top #G >6ga ($50), Middle #H >6ga ($50), Bottom #I ≤6ga ($50/pair)

Berber earring

*single Berber hoop earring SIDE* *single Berber earring FRONT*

Single Berber hoop earring with dark red glass inlay.
It measures <10ga, and is only $20. Side and front views shown.
The Berber call themselves Amazigh or Amazighen.

*wholesale versus retail prices reminder*

Rare tribal silver Ethiopian or Yemeni earrings

*Ethiopian Yemeni earrings*

This is the first time we have encountered pieces like this!
$50/pair (side and front views shown).
These measure around 6ga maximum on their coiled wire wearing surfaces.
(The original collector later informed us that these lovelies might actually be from Yemen...
considering their proximity and cross-cultural influences, this is not all that surprising.)
For documenation, please refer to page 57 in A World of Earrings;
an image of them being worn appears on p. 139 of African Ark.

Ethiopian women's giant clay lip plates

*6 plain Ethiopian Mursi tribe clay lip plates SIDE A* *6 plain Ethiopian Mursi tribe lip plates SIDE VIEWS* *6 plain Ethiopian Mursi tribe clay lip plates SIDE B*

Six plain dark clay Ethiopian Mursi tribe women's giant lip plates. These run $150-$200/each.
The Mursi tribe words for clay lip plate are dhebi a tugoin (wooden lip plates are called burgui).
Please click on these thumbnails to view images posted at life size of each side and the flares.

Measurements for the flares (outside diameter), and notes about the characteristics of each piece are:
- Top left: <2-3/4" to 2-7/8" (this piece has some shiny-ness)
- Top right: 2-13/16" to 2-7/8" (dull appearance to the clay, a little lumpy, inconsistent voids)
- Middle left: 3-1/4" to 3-1/2" (grassy surface, a little convex)
- Middle right: 3-7/16" to 3-1/2" (the clay of this piece is grassy; it is nice and consistently round)
- Bottom left: >3-3/8" to >3-1/2" (has minor cracks and smooth patinated chips)
- Bottom right: 3-1/2" to 3-5/8" (a little convex in the center, smooth, minor chips and very thin but long hard-to-notice central crack)

References include p. 249, 251, 270-277 in African Ark
(wonderful photos of giant clay plates in situ),
and p. 60 in Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry.

*wholesale versus retail prices reminder*

Kamba tribal spiked plug

*aluminum African earplug on stand*
*aluminum African earplug off stand*

Aluminum Kamba tribe (Kenya) spiked earplug on stand. $60/single.
It measures 4-5/16" in overall length, and 1-3/8" at the flare.
These images are not shown at life size, although close to it.

Maasai women's beaded collar necklace

*Maasai beaded collar necklace*

Maasai women's beaded collar necklace with leather (not plastic) spacers. $100.
Please click on this thumbnail to view a larger photo (not posted at life size).

Beaded Maasai women's upper ear jewelry

*Maasai Masai women's upper ear beaded old worn jewelry*
#A shorter colorful (either pair are $40/pair)

*Maasai Masai women's upper ear beaded old worn jewelry*
#B mostly white ($40/pair)

*Maasai Masai women's upper ear beaded old worn jewelry*
#E taller colorful (either pair are $50/pair)

Maasai women's beaded upper ear jewelry, all used and worn.
The white pairs are unusual; I had never seen any with white as the theme, and was told that these all harkened from Maasai who live in Tanzania, rather than Kenya.
The metal triangular decorations are called ndege, which means bird in Swahili. I love those!
These photographs are thumbnails only, and do not show the jewelry at real size.

Compare these prices to the newly made ones below which are $30/pair; very reasonable!
We've only had newly made pairs before, so these old ones are a treat to behold,
and of better quality, although all are made by their hands, both old and new pairs.

*Maasai tribe upper ear jewelry*

These have been scanned smaller than life size. They are $30/pair.
We have several different combinations of colors of beadwork to choose from, please ask!

Several examples Maasai jewelry can be found in the seminal work Maasai,
as well as Africa Adorned (especially on p. 26-29);
examples of beaded leather earflaps are also shown on p.54 of A World of Earrings.

Maasai women's beaded earflaps

*Maasai beaded flaps and bracelets*

Maasai beaded leather ear flaps with connecting beads (SOLD),
along with beaded bracelets ($40/pair).
Please click on this thumnail to view a version at full size.

African bracelets

*Maasai beaded bracelets*

Maasai beaded bracelets. $40/pair.

*red glass African X and line bracelets*

Old red glass African bracelets with engraved X and line decorations.
Rare! $20/each. One has SOLD.

Maasai elder men's copper mindo earweights

*copper Maasai Masai men's mindo earring*

Newer Maasai elder men's copper mindo earweights. $30/pair. SOLD
A minimum of about 00ga is required for insertion.
Old mindo are shown on p.50 of A World of Earrings.

Click the thumbnails below
to view our selection of ethnic jewelry from various parts of the world.







:: Natural and Traditional Materials ::
Bamboo | Amber | Horn and Bone
Stone | Hardwood | New Silver and Bronze
Newly Acquired Jewelry | Labrets | Septums | Singles |

:: Ethnic and Tribal Jewelry :: Introduction
India, Nepal, Tibet | Mainland and SE Asia | Middle East |
Africa | Western Hemisphere (The Americas) | Sold

:: Related Items ::
Bracelets | Other Goodies | Twilight

:: Support Pages and Helpful Information ::
Home | Ordering Information | Link Map | Download Catalog | Contact Organic
Care Instructions | Material Information | Wood Hazards | Wood Anatomy
Size Conversion Chart | About Us | Trades | Photo Gallery | Links and Books

:: Wholesale prices (to shops) are listed ::
:: Retail prices (to individuals) are double ::


:: Website created by Erica Skadsen on 1 July 1997 ::
© Organic LLC 1997-2017

*red dayak flower*