African jewelry is not only an element of masculine and feminine beauty but often expresses messages. They reveal the past of a country and its traditions, its way of life, its beliefs. They have been passed down from generation to generation, for centuries, millennia.
In short, I am a true vehicle of communication. Jewelry is also a part of African culture and is created to suit a wide range of fashion clothes for ladies. We get more and more approval and fascination for her – but the stories of her origins often remain hidden.
History of African Jewelry
From the beginning of mankind, man has made ornaments from bones, seeds, seeds, and dried fruits, with multiple purposes, not only to beautify his appearance: they have served to attract the energy of the earth to himself, to protect himself to obtain the blessings of the gods, to be healed. During the third millennium BC, the Egyptians and Sumerians already possessed sublime techniques of making jewelry.
The use of stones soon spread to all countries in the Middle East and Africa. Contrary to today’s conception, jewelry is not necessarily a luxury that is created just to present itself but also pursues a very traditional purpose in some cultures around the world.
The oldest evidence that jewelry has been part of people’s lives for thousands of years comes from Taforalt, in eastern Morocco. A team of archaeologists found 47 handmade midis in a limestone vessel in what is now the resort of the Beni Snassen Mountains.
How important is the jewelry subject in Africa?
When Europeans think of the continent, their thoughts probably wander in the direction of fantastic animals, the tropical world, or the people of Africa with their face paints and many jewels. And so it is: you can’t see an African without jewelry! Jewelry is very important in Africa.
Today, in the Western world, jewelry is used mainly for purely aesthetic and beauty purposes. You present them for a certain event but also simply as an accessory to complete your outfit. But in reality, it was not always so: in the past, in many cultures around the world, jewelry was worn by women and men especially for symbolic purposes; they could indicate a certain social status, be used as magic amulets to defeat evil spirits, or simply represent the wealth and importance of the wearer.
I just said that one of the most used jewelry in African culture is Baya, but what is it? What kind of jewelry is it?
Let’s start by saying that its use is very old, dates back more than 35 years, and is now widespread especially in northwest Africa, in countries such as Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and Benin.
The baya essentially consists of a set of pearl necklaces of different sizes which, from birth, are worn by African women at hip height, which are thus adorned and highlighted.
Whether you are a man or a woman, jewelry is part of African culture. It is said that this African type of jewelry fits perfectly with a white dress.
What materials are used for typical African jewelry?
These are the materials that are most likely associated with African jewelry:
Of course, this belief is not a coincidence, because these items are very important for jewelry production, but pearls are especially popular. Africans are familiar with various pieces of jewelry from birth, so jewelry is simply a part of life.