About the work

curationist logoCurationist Object Description
Many Berber ornaments were made by Jewish artisans, leading to a blend of customs and styles. The fibula, a pectoral ornament expressly worn by Jewish and Berber women, is a clasp to hold down capes. The triangular shape that forms as a result of connecting the piece to either side of a garment symbolizes the womb. This adds potency to the egg-shaped ornament at its center known as a tagm[o]ut or taguemount. It is molded in silver and inlaid with coral and carnelian. The materials and symbols create both a practical object of use and a protective amulet for fertility."Fibula." Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 2020, https://africa.si.edu/collections/objects/16239.

Brooklyn Museum Object Description

Fibulae are ornamental clasps. The Berbers use them to hold down scarves and keep capes in place. The central egg-shaped form known as a taguemount symbolizes fertility. The presence of the Star of David on this piece suggests that the artist may have been Jewish, as were many of the silversmiths of Morocco from the fifteenth century until the 1950s or 1960s.

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