Tuareg Veil Weight – ASSROU N’ SWOUL – Niger

Geometric layers of copper and silver on brass sheet; leather. Cm. 23,0 in length (cm. 34 in length with the leather strip). Grams 60,7. Excellent decorations.

A genuine and old Tuareg veil weight known as ” assrou n’ swoul “, generally translated as ” the key which is thrown over the shoulder “. This elaborate key-like pendant is often worn by wealthier women as a counterweight to keep their head-cloths or robes from being blown away by the Sahara’s winds.

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).

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