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Kabyle Jewelry

    Jewelry is the indispensable attribute of any feminine adornment .The kabyle jewelries    are very fascinating and its success exceed the kabylia borders and even Algeria itself .It is made from silver and designed with art that reflects the simplicity of the kabyle’s life.The kabyle women adore putting them either daily or just in occasions like weddings .It plays a very essential role in women social life. Green, yellow, red and blue are the most common colors which are used in the kabyle jewelry which symbolizes the elements of nature such as plains, the sun and the sky. The village of Beni Yenni in Tizi Ouzou is the famous one in making the kabyle jewelry. For sure that making jewelry has progressed and modernized but still keep its traditional touch.

There are different kinds of jewelry:

Thaasabt is a tiara that has become very rare these days. It was intended to decorate the forehead. It is decorated with enamels, large coral cabochons and silver balls.
Thimangouchin which are earrings with oval or round shape adorned with coral in the centre and different colors at the edges.

Acherour (necklace) is used to show the charm of the kabylia women .Some necklaces are perfumed that’s to say they are made from cloves (sekhab) and only a married woman can carry it.
Thakhathamt (ring) is used to show the beauty of woman’s hand.

Avezim (brooch) is the centerpiece of the Kabyle adornment. It is a large round fibula richly decorated and worn on the chest. It is pinned on the chest of the child on the day of birth; this jewel, also, can be placed near the bed of the mother for seven days.
Thavakossth (girdle) used to tie the kabyle dress.

Akhelkhal (bracelet of foot) It is of a large size and put on the ankle .It is used for the ornamentation of the ankle .It is very fascinating and shows the beauty of the woman .  

     Other jewelry, although are considered as a sought after adornment, has a very clear magical character: their shape (round or size), their decoration (five cabochons of coral), the material of which they are made (silver), they are used in certain apparently obscure and distant rites. For instance, during the ritual of the passage to the puberty of his son, the kabyle mother attaches a bracelet of foot (akhelkhal) to his ankle. This jewel is also placed on one of the bride's feet during the henna ceremony. On the other hand; no jewelry can be worn for the duration of the mourning. Custom is particularly observed for necklaces and bracelets; the brooch (avzim), of a more immediate utility, are tolerated.

      The arrangement of enamels and coral is always the happiest effect. This harmonious combination of colors strongly satisfies the very pronounced taste that all Kabyle women have for the brilliant hues. All the jewels worn by women are in silver; the gold is unknown there. This is a feature common to all rural populations in North Africa, in the ancient time. Nowadays, in Great Kabylia, they used a technique of covering the silver jewels with gold.

written by ARAB Sabrina


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