The Berber (Self called Amazigh - "Free People") are an ancient, indigenous ethnic group native to North Africa. Their influence can be seen throughout much of North Africa but are especially prevalent within Morocco. Everything from the textiles, weaving, leatherwork, architecture, and metalwork that can be seen within Morocco's borders can be attributed to the Berber's mastery of a variety of trades. So, when we decided to offer our customers with jewelry options to accompany our garments we knew that the only authentic way to do so would be to source directly from the best Berber artisans that Morocco had to offer.
Sourcing our pieces proved to be a unique and unexpected challenge simply due to the fact that we were left in awe at the quality and craftsmanship of many artisans across different regions of Morocco. So much so that choosing just one was an impossible task. After a painstaking search we narrowed down our artisans to the Azilal, Tiznit, Meknes, Ouarzazate, and Sahara provinces. Details of these provinces can be found below:
Tiznit - Located in the southern region of Morroco, this gorgeous, culturally rich provincen is well-known as the center for silver jewelry and semi-precious stones of Morocco.
Azilal - Located in Central Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains, this town is well known for it's breathtaking natural beauty and thriving crafts culture.
Meknes - A north-centrally located city that is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. This ancient city is dotted with ruins and impressive architecture.
Ouarzazate - Known as "The door to the desert" this breathtaking desert city is known for it's rich history as a key point along major trade routes and it's currently bustling film studios.
Sahara - Also known as the Southern Province, this province is sparsely populated and mostly known for, surprise, it's desert flatlands.
Berber jewelry has such a rich and unique history and the craftsmanship is of such high quality that this particular style of jewelry has been collected for hundreds of years by savvy purveyors around the world. In fact, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a permanent collection (and a vault) of Berber jewelry and a special exhibition at the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent displayed prized pieces in the Summer of 2014. Historically, Berber jewelry was primarily created using silver (believed to symbolize purity) but today's trends lean towards gold. Due to elegance of the Tighemi woman we decided that our pieces would take the more antique approach by using a base metal of silver with wonderful colorful enamels and coral accents.
We are absolutely delighted that we are able to bring such cherished items to our store for our customers to enjoy.