MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL: THE INHERITANCE OF JEWELLERY IN THE AMAZIGH CULTURE
From time immemorial, the Amazigh culture has always placed humanity at the centre of all things, emphasizing on the ties that linked it to the spiritual world, to nature but also and especially to its fellow human beings.
One of the best examples of this is the mother-daughter relationship, a strong and beautiful bond sealed by the tradition of handing over the jewels of the matriarch to her daughters. Being in May which offers the opportunity to celebrate our dear mothers we invite you to learn more about this beautiful tradition.
A matriarchal society
The traditional Amazigh society was originally a matriarchal society, the woman, especially the mother had a central place in society. One went so far as to speak of a living sanctuary, to say how important they were and, in every way, considered equal to man.
The Mother thus determines the family affiliation and we still find traces of this society in the dialect with the words «Uma» and «Ultma» which inspired the name of the last genderless collection of Yelli Jewels and designates the brother and sister, they literally mean “from my mother”.
Amazigh Jewelry: Past Treasures from Mother to Daughter
Jewelry is inherited from mother to daughter. In our first article on the place of jewels in the Amazigh society, we talked about the fact that jewels were offered as dowry to women during their marriages by their husband or their stepfathers.
These jewels, the riches of these women, are then passed on to their daughters. Indeed, the Amazigh society focuses on appearance, so it is very early that young women begin to dress themselves with tattoos and jewelry.
But beyond the aesthetic aspect, the jewels indicate the young woman’s membership, so we know to which people or tribe she belongs to.
As the Amazigh peoples have an oral tradition, there is very little written about their history and customs. It is through artisanal pieces such as jewelry or carpets that the essence of their culture is revealed. Thus, jewels tell a story, the symbols, the letters traced in Tifinagh are a code that only the wise eye can understand.
It is not only a question of coquetry, or material possessions, but it is her history that each mother transmits to her daughter just as she gave her life. It is a story that is engraved, whispered, continued over the ages through its jewels that have passed from generation to generation.