Old Berber Box Amulet – Siwa Oasis, Egyptamazigh
Early to mid 20th century. Silver, traces of gilding grams 57,4 (2.02 oz.). The necklace is cm. 50 long (19.69″). The box amulet is cm. 7,0 high x cm. 5,4 width (2.76″ x 2.13″).
Zār Amulet or commonly known as Zar, is a special genre in Egyptian jewellery which consists of purpose-made magical jewellery, to be used in the zar-ceremony: rites carried out mainly for women and performed to persuade a spirit to leave, thus releasing the person from the duty to obey that spirit.
These box amulet often has a sheet of papers which is written in Arabic, one or more verses of the Quran selected by an Imam or a Marabout , curses, hatred, diseases or also to receive favors or luck.
Berbers are the indigenous ethnic group of North Africa. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. The name Berber appeared for the first time after the end of the Roman Empire. Many Berbers call themselves some variant of the word imazighen (singular: Amazigh), possibly meaning “free people” or “free and noble men”. Today, most Berber-speaking people live in Morocco and Algeria.