More than 100 years old, this hollowed-out gazelle horn was not used for gunpowder as one might think, but instead for kohl powder. Sourced from Zagora, Morocco at the start of the Sahara desert, women would use kohl both to enhance their beauty as well as to provide relief from the harsh glare of the sun.
Completely hand carved, the Horn has been fitted with a mixed silver and copper repousse design. While faded and rubbed, the design is still apparent in many areas. The stopper is removable and this item is still fully functional, although it is empty.
The Tuareg are traditionally independent nomadic herders, crossing the Sahara desert by camel. Influential in the spread of Islam, they produce no masks or figures--prohibited in Islamic society--but instead create an impressive world of traditional, abstract, beautiful, functional objects of leather, wood, Horn and metal.
Tuareg jewelry is often characterized by the use large stones and distinctive etched patterns in elaborate silver work. Tuareg designs carry rich symbolism and meaning, often including elements of the night sky which guide them on their night time journeys through the desert. Each carefully etched line in Tuareg jewelry represents an important aspect in tribal life, both human and animal.