Tuareg pole (Front view)
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Item : Tuareg pole, Picture : Front view (approx. 9 Kbytes)


In Saharan daily life, wood is one of the most important materials, and is used for the poles and beams of the nomads' tents, as well as bed frames, milking bowls and dishes. Sharpened to a point for standing upright in a nomadic encampment, it should have been used for hanging leather bags. The upper half is elaborately and carefully carved with semicircles, triangular and « lotus flower » shapes.
This pole, almost totemic, is an important item in any household. It was carved by members of the guild known as Enaden (literally « the other »), blacksmiths who have been instrumental in the creation of precisely those things that have forever distinguished the upper classes of this society (the imochar, the warriors, and the insilimen, the religious teachers). This artisan guild, although regarded as culturally important, has always been socially marginalized. While the Enaden are blacksmiths, they are also carvers, and their products are among the most potent of symbols.
Early 20th century.

Object #4299

Origin :

Mauritania (Niger or western Sahara)

Type :

Ethnographic items

Ethnic group :

Tuareg

Material :

Wood, old brownish-red patina from use

Size :

H = 42.7 inches

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