I love Berber - not Bieber! (LOL!)

You might ask or you might not but I was asking myself what exactly what is Berber? I am asking this question because I started working on a new necklace a few days ago. It does not look like much yet but it's going to be fabulous! I am imagining it being a little bit longer than a choker, 3 rows of the brown oval beads spaced with silver disc beads with the BERBER coins dangling from the last row of beads. So, in order to better describe MY PEACE, I am researching where the hell did these coins come from.
So that is how the question came to be.

Berber is an ethnic group, which originally inhabited Morocco and North Africa. Berbers have lived in Africa since the earliest recorded time. References date back to 3000 BC. Berber is derived from the Roman term for barbarians. Berbers are non-Arabic tribes. Berbers, just as most other peoples in the world, easily blend in with other people. (Now this I did not know - ok I did not know any of this). Berber people are comprised of European slaves and war prisoners, who were transported and sold to North Africa, and with them blond hair and red hair as well as green and blue eyes were introduced (basically sexually with native Africans and Arabs producing mixed children) into the Berber face. Estimates go as high as 1 million Europeans arriving in North Africa this way, but many returned to Europe.

Until a few years ago, being Berber was considered to be second class (like in many societies in the West: Indians in America, Aboriginals in Australia, Lapps in Norway). For example, in the most modernized society in North Africa, Tunisia, being Berber has been (and still is to some extent) synonymous with being an illiterate peasant dressed in traditional garments.

Photo by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher

Photo: Eithne Nightingale

Photo from Ethnic Silver website

Love this necklace! This is an actual antique Moroccan necklace, which you can purchase from their website. I would buy it, but I can't afford it.

Anyway, I going a little off track. But aren't these Berber women amazing?!?! I love the jewelry. It's ethnic, powerful, tribal, bohemian, artsy, detailed, ectlectic, amazing...I could go on but I won't. A lot of MY PEACEs that I make are a homage to Berber jewelry. MY PEACEs are a watered-down version of these spectacular pieces. Anyway I am going off topic again.

Berber people are known for their craftsmanship. Created out of pure silver or silver mix, (as well as their colorful beads, but I am just focusing on the silver here). Below are some coins. Well, I am using them to make my necklace. I will show you MY PEACE finished soon!

These are BERBER beads above on the necklace. The ones I am using are very similar. I've had my Berber beads for a long time and was just waiting for the inspiration to use them. Well it finally came when I purchased these awesome brown oval beads at the Santa Monica bead show. I think the two together is going to be fabulous.

MY PEACE of JEWELRY is going to be fabulous!!!!!!



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