taureg ornaments

I just received these beautiful Taureg hair/pendant ornaments in my mailbox today.  Very excited to find a home for them and make something extra special with them.

They are antique and carved from carnelian, and were cut in Idar-Oberstein in Germany in the mid-late 1800's and traded with the Tuareg tribe in Mali.

The town of Idar-Oberstein is famous for gem cutting it seems, with some interesting modern cutting coming out of there such as these incredible examples:

Due to the nature of the Taureg people's attire, there were no photos I could find of any of these particular ornaments being worn in the hair, I assume they were worn at the end of braids?  If anyone out there knows otherwise, I'd be glad to hear from you!

But I did find these stunning photos of Taureg girls taken by Eric Lafforgue, checkout the rest of his amazing collection of images if you have time, it's well worth it for the ethnic jewellery spectacle.

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