This fine pair of cast fibulae or cloak pins are of thickly cast and chiselled silver. They are heavy in the hand, suggesting the wealth of the owner, due to the amount of silver used to make them. They have wonderful wear and a fine patina.
This style is referred to as dar n ouchen or ‘foot of the jackal’ – a reference to the form of their lower sections.
The pair come from the Berber People of the Draa Valley, Morocco. Local Jewish women also wore similar silver fibulae.
They were used by Berber women to attach cloaks about their shoulders. Chains would have connected the two fibulae which would have hung down the chest of the wearer almost necklace like.
Similar examples are illustrated in Amel (1998, p. 231 & p. 233), Prolongeau-Wade (2008, p. 139), Hoek (2004, p. 24) and Rabate (2015, p. 139).
Amel, P., et al, Splendeurs du Maroc, Musee Royal de l’Afrique Central, Belgium, 1998.
Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.
Prolongeau-Wade, S., Voyage des au Pays Fibules, Editions du Regard, 2008.
Rabate, M., Bijoux du Maroc: Du Haut Atlas a la Vallee du Draa, ACR Edition, 2015.