This vintage Tuareg serving bowl, called a Kasriya, was sourced from the southern Moroccan town of Zagora. Traditionally used for serving the requisite Friday couscous, this polished ebony wood bowl has a large inlaid carved Khannjar dagger made of camel bone. Additional carved circular camel bone pieces have been inlaid and stained with henna for a slight orange tone.
Nailed into the base of the bowl are seven copper-nickel coins dating to the French Protectorate era of Moroccan rule. Although nearly pounded to obscurity, the coins date this item from the early to mid-1900s and have had a border tapped into them. Silver melange repousse flowers provide further decoration, along with decorative metal rivets.
The sides of the bowl have four hand-forged silver melange Tuareg Southern Crosses, a common motif representing compasses used to cross the Sahara Desert. The coins are again nearly obliterated, but are henna-dyed brass-plated steel coins from Libya, an area also known for Tuareg nomads. Large silver metal rivets complete the visually pleasing pattern of colors and metals.
The bowl is rimmed in thick chased brass, with numerous repairs made using molten silver. The sides of the bowl have two metal bars nailed on to repair splits in the wood, with two additional bars on the back for extra durability and continued use. The back of the bowl is heavily burnished, but there is no scent.