This antique Tuareg Gris Gris Chieftan Necklace with its original Sacoche bag was sourced directly from Tuareg descendants in Zagora, Morocco. Used to bring good luck while crossing the Sahara Desert, this traditional tribal necklace is worn by the chief to protect the caravan on their journey.
More than 100 years old, these particular necklaces are very difficult to find, especially with the intricate engraving so well preserved and even more so with their original bag. Known as a Gris Gris Tuareg in Zagora and Tcherot in others, these lucky talismans even sometimes carried a message or paper with Q'uranic verses written on it.
The large silver melange pendant has raised levels, with extensive engraving and a pyramid with the traditional stacked metal and ebony design, topped with a ball. Subtle copper highlights mark each corner. On the back is the stamp of the maker. The cord is made from finely spun hand-knotted sheep's wool.
The Tuareg Bag is made from hand-dyed leather, in the traditional Tuareg colors of rich raspberry red and mint green. The leather is exquisitely tooled, both on front and back, with designs created by careful cuts in the green leather to reveal the red leather beneath.
The small pouch perfectly fits the Gris Gris Tuareg pendant. The inside flap is decorated with a small surprise patch of flowery fabric. A raised roll on the front of the pouch is used for opening and closing the pouch. In addition to the tooled red leather, there is a swatch of green, decorated with cuts to reveal the red leather below, an eye (to ward off the evil eye) in the middle. Black and white stitching create further contrast, with small colorful metal rivets above the eye.
Four sets of long leather tassels stream down from the sides of the pouch, with shorter tassels from the bottom. A long leather flap serves as armor. The armor is heavily decorated with colorful metal rivets, as well as stitching in black and white thread in traditional designs of tents, stars, and partridge eyes.
The Tuareg originate from Mali, Algeria and Libya, but after travelling the Sahara Desert, a small group settled in the southern Moroccan Zagora province. Silver Sahara sources all our Tuareg items directly from descendants of the original settlers, ensuring that fair prices are paid.
Early 20th century
Silver Melange & Copper, Wool, Leather, Cloth
Necklace measures 44cm long (17in)
Pendant measures 12x11cm (5in)
Bag measures 54cm long total (21in)
Pouch 11x11cm (5in)
25 cm with Tassels
All sales on Silver Sahara abide by fair trade principles, and benefit the native artisans to help ensure continuation of traditional craft techniques.
Handmade; please allow for minor imperfections and design variations. Please inquire with any questions or for more pictures.