Tuareg Embroidery

Tuareg embroidered men's gown. Tuareg embroidered men's gown.

The Tuareg are an ethnic group who live in the Sahara Desert, North Africa. They call themselves Kel Tamasheq, Kel Tamajaq or Kel Tagelmust (‘People of the Veil’). In general, they are not known for their embroidery, although there are a few garments, especially worn by those who live in the south, that are decorated in this manner.

A man’s normal outfit consists of baggy trousers (ekerbey) worn with several loose gowns, including an outer gown (gandura), which is usually embroidered around the neck opening. The same form of decoration can also be found on Hausa garments from northern Nigeria.

There is a small range of embroidered attire worn by Tuareg women. Among Tuareg groups in the north of Nigeria, there is a white or blue top (tekamist), which is normally embroidered in some manner. Tuareg women living further south tend to wear three main garments, one of which, a very short blouse (afetek) with long sleeves, is usually embroidered. The embroidery is worked around the neck opening and down the front. It often takes the form of bands and simple geometric motifs.

Source: VOGELSANG-EASTWOOD, Gillian (2016). Snapshot 'Tuareg embroidery,' in: Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (ed.), Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World, London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 260-263.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 25 June 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 24 April 2017 12:13
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