The History of Silver Jewelry in Morocco
Each place is known for something distinctive. Morocco is known for its art and silver jewelry falls into that category. The art of silversmiths or jewelers is recognized all around the world. Due to the beauty and seamless work; Moroccan jewelry is highly appreciated and loved.
What makes silver jewelry so special in Morocco is its unique beauty and precise detail. If you pay a visit there, you can see artisans and silversmiths at work; and how they concentrate on the tiniest detail. Whether new or fabrications of old jewelry and even in the antique pieces, you can see the essence of symbolism and history.
Berbers traditionally were seen wearing silver and Morocco is one of the top twenty silver produces in the world. The mines have been in use in the Souss-Massa-Draa region dating back to the 1st century AD. Although in today's time gold is preferred over silver due to its increased value especially in the urban regions, the uniqueness of these silver pieces of art is still alive in Morocco. After the introduction of Islam in Morocco since the 7th century, silver was preferred even more as in some of the verses of Quran, wearing gold is forbidden.
As seen in many traditions, jewelry was and still serves as multi-purpose. This includes practical and adornment use. It is mostly seen as an indication of wealth and a strong social status.
Morocco is a place rich with old cultures and traditions which can still be seen in today's time. Not like many other countries, there has been the arrival of a number of traditions by multiple immigrants. This was then adopted by the Moroccan people already living there. Jews are the first population mastering silver making techniques; then passed along to their Berber neighbors and colleagues . In some areas of Morocco such as Agadir, Essaouira and Fes, you can still come across some modern pieces of filigree work. This holds the typical essence of Jewish jewelers dating back to the bygone era.
It is a tradition that women in Morocco receive a good amount of silver jewelry from their husbands. This is basically to ensure these women security of their own wealth in unfortunate times of hardships or if they are widowed. These pieces are typically worn at their weddings and these include necklaces, earrings, headbands, bangles, bracelets, and rings. One of the headbands which are typically worn by all Berber women at their weddings is called a Tasfift and is an ornate headpiece adorned by silver or nickel coins featuring King Muhammad V or Hassan II. Another fascinating fact linked to it is that it has a dove piece fixed on the tip of the head promoting fertility and purity to the new bride. These also include the symbolism of Moroccan tradition.
All these pieces have such a rich history and tradition cultivated in them. They are surely worth a watch and if one likes collecting jewelry; Moroccan silver jewelry is a must-have.