:: Wholesale prices (to shops) are listed :: Retail prices (to individuals) are double ::
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This bottom pair, shown by themselves at full size,
weigh .94oz (26.6grams)/each, and are $125/pair.
More 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 with engraving and likely ebony inlay.
More tribal hoop earrings
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 ($40), 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)
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.
Rare tribal silver Ethiopian or 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
Ethiopian women's giant clay lip plates
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)
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.
Beaded Maasai women's upper ear jewelry
#A shorter colorful (either pair are $40/pair)
#B mostly white ($40/pair)
#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.
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!