TUAREG JEWELRY: Traditional Patterns and Symbols

Helene Hagan
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She is the mother of three children. She pursued her doctoral studies in anthropology at Stanford University, California. She is of Berber and Catalan ancestries.

She subsequently taught at John F. Kennedy University in California for a number of years, while helping Lakota artists by opening an art gallery "Lakota Contemporary Designs" in Marin county She was instrumental in the creation of a series of 11 community television programs under the title "Circles" on American Indians in Marin and Sonoma Counties, followed by another series on the Amazigh culture of Morocco, which she personally videographed "Tamazgha, Berber land of Morocco.

Finally, she initiated and produced six television half hours, securing a long-time friend, American Indian activist and actor Russell Means as host, taped in Santa Monica for community television. The Russell Means Show, Helene Hagan has authored numerous articles published in a variety of newspapers and journals.

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Among those are her well-known article on "Plastic Medicine People" originally published in the Sonoma Press Democrat , and "Apuleius, Amazigh Philosopher" published in The Amazigh Voice , a scholarly journal which also recently published an article of hers titled "The Argan Tree. This last book was followed by a second edition, titled "Russell Means The European Ancestry of a Militant Indian", which elaborates the historical context of French and Indian intermarriages in early America, during the fur trading era and the bison hunting in the Plains.

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It also includes a chapter on the public access television series, "The Russell Means Show" Hagan produced and which Russell Means hosted. The first book pioneered the hypothesis of a link between an archaic Egyptian culture, the proto-Berber culture of North Africa, and the Tuareg-Berber cultures of the Sahara desert, focusing on rock art research, archaeology, and comparative linguistics. The second book traces the origins and development of Tuareg Amazigh art from rock art to modern jewelry design and production.

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The third is an anthropological study of a small community of Berber people in the mountains of Morocco, and the fourth an anthology of essays written over several decades on American Indian and Amazigh issues. She inherited a large collection of personal papers and unpublished manuscripts of Paul Radin , which she inventoried and deposited in the Special Archives of Marquette University , with the support of a Wenner-Gren Anthropological grant.

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She serves as lifetime Associate Curator for that collection. The book introduces the reader to the culture of the Tuaregs, a remarkable group of African nomads of the Sahara Desert, which has fascinated the Europeans who came into contact with them in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the last decade or so, as the Tuareg societies of Niger and Mali underwent major change, a number of American researchers began to document some of their ways.

http://tf.nn.threadsol.com/quvop-how-can-i.php Research and publications in the English language are, however, lagging far behind those in the French language. Fortunately, the primary author of this book, Helene Hagan, was originally educated in the French language, and as an Amazigh Berber herself, is very familiar with North African scholarship in the Amazigh culture.

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Thus, as a bilingual anthropologist of Berber ancestry, born and raised in Morocco, and an activist for Amazigh cultural, linguistic and human rights, she benefits from a fourfold source of valuable information: French scholarship, American contemporary accounts, the latest Amazigh research emanating out of North Africa, and Northern Niger Tuareg informants she knows. This unique set of circumstances gives the book an extra dimension of depth and insight. The book recounts the myth of origin of the Kel Tamasheq of Niger, and looks at the continuity and development of symbols from archaic inscriptions and rock art of the Sahara to present-day engravings on silver jewelry and the Tifinagh alphabet.

The second chapter is entirely devoted to retracing this development and showing the correspondence between Tifinagh characters of the Amazigh alphabet and the elegant, clear lines of geometric designs, which characterize the silver jewelry of the Tuareg people. The two are deeply connected.

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Modern Tifinagh Calligraphic Art is also featured in this chapter. The next chapter delves into the mystery of the famous Cross of Agadez and the various hypotheses that have been offered as to its meaning.

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It depicts the artisanal mode of production, and the functions the crosses hold for Tuareg people themselves. Nowadays, the production of crosses for the western world diminishes the role this cross, Tenghelet tan Agadez, had as a clan identifier. It has become, like other less well known pieces of Tuareg jewelry, a simple ornament or necklace devoid of any particular significance, and the markings on those crosses are losing some of their intentions of yore.

The book reviews specific masculine jewelry and feminine adornment in the next two chapters, and looks at the role various pieces of silver jewelry play in the relations. The People of Tin Hinan. Tifinagh Alphabet and Art.

Tuareg engraving