Old Large Tuareg Buckle – Tent Talisman – Niger
Mid 20th century. Iron, brass, copper. Grams 255,5 (9.01 oz.). Cm. 13,3 high x cm. 23,0 width (5.23″ x 9.05″).
These talismans were used as buckles to secure the luggage to the camel. They were also placed in the Tuareg tent as talismans to protect and defend themselves from hostile supernatural forces that inhabit the surrounding environment – the ” Jinn ” (evil spirits, from the terrible Ghul to the Ifrit, no less cruel in tending traps to travelers) – and gain the protection of beneficial genies.
The Tuareg people inhabit a large area, covering almost all the middle and western Sahara and the north-central Sahel. They are probably descended from the ancient Libyan people of the kingdom of the Garamantes, described by Herodotus. Tuareg are mostly nomads. For over two millennia, the Tuareg operated the trans-Saharan caravan trade connecting the great cities on the southern edge of the Sahara via five desert trade routes to the northern coast of Africa (Mediterranean).