By Sarah Corbett

The drive to adorn oneself is considered by some to be one of the most basic human drives, following closely the need to procreate and survive.

The act of adornment is far from a simple exercise in beauty, and can communicate much about a person and their living environment.

The heritage, status, wealth, courage and origin of an individual can be communicated clearly within their choice of clothing, adornment and coiffure.

Over the coming issues of Ethnic Jewels Magazine we shall explore the very personal way that we as humans communicate the essence of ourselves to those around us via external appearance.

The first topic we will explore is Tihuna.


A constant preoccupation


The Tihuna is a Berber protective symbol.

The word in itself means small space.

The symbol can be found in many places, and is used to give protection to a home or to a person.

The diamond style of the symbol donates a marked area to be protected, a personal space.

The symbol can be found on homes, frequently painted onto doors or built into the walls themselves in the southern Ksour ( fortified villages)

In carpets the woven language of the Berbers communicates many things .

The Tihuna is generally present at least once within a piece.

In clothing added by means of dye for instance with henna, or embroidered delicately into place. The symbol becomes portable and can offer protection to the personal space of the wearer.

In jewellery , again we see the protective symbol, and this allows us to give the portable gift of protection to those we love and wish to keep safely.

In Henna the symbol can be seen on the hands of brides to protect them on this auspicious day when that may forget in their joyfulness to be wary of bad spirits who may wish possess them.

A simple shape which relates to the eye of protection, and is prevalent in adornment of Morocco.


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