This fine silver and spectrolite pendant is strung on a leather and silver necklace. The pendant was hand made with no electrical tools in the traditional manner by international award-winning silversmith Moussa Albaka of Niger, Africa. All engraving is hand done, and all leather work is handmade. The leather cord measures 18 inches and the pendant measures 2.25 inches wide by 2.5 inches tall. From the young age of 10, Moussa Albaka, in the African country of Niger, was taught the art of Tuareg silversmithing and jewelry making by his father and grandfather. His family has been involved in silversmithing, as well as camel caravan trading, throughout the Sahara Desert. His jewelry in fine (95%) silver is created using the lost wax casting process. He engraves intricate designs by hand, in a jewelry-making style known as repousse, in effect, hammering out shapes from the back side of the piece and inlaying semi-precious stones, metals, and ebony.
Albaka is Inadan, an artisan tribe of the Tuareg in Niger, West Africa. The Tuareg are also known as the “blue men of Morocco” because their traditional robes and turbans contain a deep indigo dye that rubs off on the skin. Many of his designs are traditional. He also creates modern and custom pieces. He has collaborated with several well-known designers, has exhibited his jewelry in the Smithsonian Museum and at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, NM. He won the prestigious UNESCO international award for artistic excellence.
He creates necklaces, earrings, bracelets, belt buckles, silver boxes, decorative veil weights, rings, Tuareg locks, and amulets. Creating art is not just for the men, however. Albaka’s sister makes belts, boxes, pillow covers, and leather camel bags. These are decorated with bright colored leathers using organic dyes and different techniques of embroidery, fringing, and weaving.
Jewelry making and teaching are ways to connect to previous generations, and to retain cultural identity.
For these and other examples of fine Tuareg jewelry, visit spectrumartsinc.com