Moroccan handcrafted jewellery and craftsmanship have a long history that continues in the present day.
One of the most cherished assets Moroccan women own is jewellery.
In the past, Morocco’s Jewish population was largely responsible for the traditional craft of creating authentic Moroccan jewellery.
Jewish artisans and craftspeople were recognized as the top designers and makers of these objects.
We go into the many types of jewellery, their places of origin, the occasions they are designed for, as well as where one may get genuine pieces in our in-depth introduction to Moroccan jewellery.
Moroccan Jewelry by region
Your mind immediately conjures up pictures of those thick and ornate Berber necklaces or those lavish bridal ornaments that drape the hair, arms, and neck when you hear about Moroccan jewellery.
The two traditions of jewellery making that stand out the most are Berber and Tuareg.
Berber jewellery serves as an example of ethnic traditions and customs.
As a result, it becomes a crucial component of a woman’s dowry.
Berber women typically.
often seen in pictures wearing big amber necklaces, layers of silver coin headbands, and hinged metal bracelets with different symbolic patterns.
The astonishing variety of semi-precious stones and talismans used in bracelets and necklaces is typical.
The hand of Fatima, the prophet Muhammad’s daughter, is one of the most well-known symbols for fending off the evil eye.
This heritage’s majesty and magnificence are still evident today, and it continues to be one of the richest manifestations of Moroccan culture.
Additionally, we can observe how the Tuareg and Berber traditions blended to create the jewellery they created, combining two strong and vivacious traditions.
The jewellery from southern Morocco typically comprises various mixtures of silver and copper embellished with geometric or floral motifs.
Women might use a fibula as a brooch to complement a dress or their hair, for instance.
One of the most noticeable emblems is the fibula, which is a silver triangle that is sometimes carved or embellished with bright stones and used as a decoration or to hold together an outer layer.
On the other side, the “Nbala” is a traditional hinged bracelet that is frequently etched to display endearing and quirky designs in the south Atlas region.
Types of Moroccan Jewelry
Another piece of jewellery that draws strongly from Arab, Andalusian, and Ottoman influences is the Khalkhal.
Ankle bracelets or anklets are accessories that are frequently crafted from gold, silver, or a combination of the two metals.
The khamsa, or hand of Fatima, as well as a representation of the evil eye were traditionally included in the Khalkhal’s collection of charms and talismans.
It could be delicate or hefty, like the Fassi Khalkhal, which resembles a cuff and is adorned with engravings in various floral shapes and a silver chain that transforms it into a double-layered anklet.
Mdama, a type of traditional belt, is frequently used to tighten takchitas or caftans.
This accessory comes in a wide variety of materials, designs, and styles.
Most significantly, the genuine mdama formerly made up a woman’s dowry.
The mama may be constructed of pure gold with various engravings and gemstones, depending on the family’s riches and the social standing of the intended spouse (mostly red and green).
It might also be created out of silver in the form of several hinged buckles with arabesque etchings.
As time goes on, the mama begins to change into a belt formed of a rigid, almost cardboard-like material that is subsequently covered in the fabric of the dress it is intended to be worn with (whether it be silk, brocade, velvet, or cotton).
Silver bracelets from Morocco are yet another essential component of any traditional jewellery collection.
To add thickness to the wrist, these items are typically worn either alone or in layers.
Even though 925 silver bracelets are the most popular, many bracelet sets are made of gold (these are usually worn at weddings or special occasions).
Authentic silver bracelet sets are now frequently imitated, and despite being much less expensive than the originals, these imitations nonetheless manage to convey the beauty and spirit of Moroccan jewellery history.
A hand with the power to ward off evil and shield the bearer from negative energy is symbolized by the Khamsa, also known as the Eye of Fatima or the Hand of Fatima, and it is of Moroccan-Jewish ancestry.
This is a traditional motif in Moroccan jewellery and is present in the majority of items, including necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings, and anklets.
Most Moroccan ladies carry at least a few things with this lovely and distinctive emblem because it is such a common element of Moroccan culture.
Antique Moroccan Jewelry
Moroccan jewellery from the past is typically far more expensive than contemporary pieces.
Not only that, but it can be difficult to even locate an actual item of jewellery that dates back a long time.
Finding antique Moroccan jewellery will be a difficult effort, whether you are looking online or in the Souks of old Medinas.
Most Moroccan women got those accessories from their mothers and grandmothers; therefore, it is impossible to part with them due to their sentimental importance.
Despite how difficult it is to locate vintage jewellery stores in Morocco, you may still purchase genuine items in old-world locales like Marrakech, Fez, Tangier, and Chefchaouen.