Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Berber happenings keep unfolding in Paris!!!

Berber women of Morrocco


March 21 - July 20, 2014

The Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent is proud to announce the opening of its 21st exhibition, Berber Women of Morocco. It is an occasion not only to share the richness of the Amazigh civilization, but also to honor Berber women, to whom the Amazigh culture owes its survival. The survival of a culture depends on the transmission of language, but also on certain, essentially feminine, skills, such as weaving or, in the northern region of the Kingdom, pottery. The exhibition is an opportunity to display the diverse and extraordinary beauty of Berber adornments.


For french speaking there is a complete press folder  on the french part!

This exhibition is very promising as it would highlight treasures from the Majorelle garden museum in Marrakech as well as jewels from the Quai branly museum that are usually kept in storage and not accessible to the public!!

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Comment by Johanne on May 26, 2014 at 20:05

Thanks for mention this on EJ , Alaa!    I visited the exhibition in Paris on sunday may 18 ! I was very impressed!  It made my day! and my trip to Paris!  Sure I bought the cataloque "Berber women of Morocco" ( the English edition) (€30).

Comment by Frankie Carter on January 31, 2014 at 12:14

I am delighted to see that the foundation has illustrated its` exhibition announcement with Ait Seghrouchen pieces. I remember that the Marrakech Berber Museum had a number of pieces exhibited - very worth seeing. Maybe the Quai Branly will contribute its` A. S. flared cuffs.

Cordelia, I`ve visited Morocco a few times now and I still find it a bewildering, confusing, amazing experience. It`s part of the charm of the place!

Comment by Cordelia Donohoe on January 30, 2014 at 22:33

well, I think it is interesting and good that Arabic people are valuing and collecting these things. Europeans, have after all got many of other cultures things. I kind of guessed that the French Elite would value the Berber artifacts more than say in the Uk, considering their colonial history. I think I am drawn to these things because Morocco was the first country I travelled to without parents and it was a bewildering, confusing, amazing experience. 

Comment by Harald on January 30, 2014 at 20:01

The people of the rich oil countries buy hole collections from private people for their new museums at the moment! This I heard from a friend who sold a very large collection. Sad that these things disappear from Europe.

Comment by Alaa eddine SAGID on January 30, 2014 at 19:17
indeed thelma. yves saint laurent used to buy his jewels from Sarah Pinson who was the owner of "argana" gallery dealing in berber arts and located in Paris!

the gallery is closed since a long ago....

Paris is quite central in north african affairs due to colonial history but it has built a special relation with moroccan culture since many of the french elite are tied to morocco either because they were borrn there or have a sencondary home and often are also lobbying fir moroccan politics in exchange of they are big promoters for moroccan antiques and big buyers as well....

the same happens for islamic arts. since many well to gulf countries people come to paris for holidays and since they are all building private collections and.museums ( a big fashion now there) they buy a lot in parus auction houses and antique markets or one of the many established lebanese middlemens do it on their behalf......

there is some serious sociology to be done on that field!!
Comment by Thelma on January 30, 2014 at 14:48

This exhibition sounds really interesting .. and also interesting is the interrelationship of all these people and institutions. Didn't you also say earlier that Yves St. Laurent used to buy some of his jewels from a particular shop in Paris? It all seems to come together in Paris! Or at least the North African interests.

Comment by Alaa eddine SAGID on January 30, 2014 at 14:31
the samz swedish guy who is also the curator of the majorelle museum in Marrakech!!!

berge/yves saint laurent couple were great collectors for evrything for old french furnitures to mayan artefacts and antique chinese dynasties stuff!!

after the death of yves sain laurent berge started to sell their enormous collections to fund their foundation which also patronizes contemporary art and design!!!

i can easily see the connection whith the danish guy even if i think that his knowledge of berber ethnic arts is limited.....

recently on of berge sales triggered an almost diplomatic issue between france and china when he put on auction a couple of chinese imperial seals from the late qing emperor...looted when the palace was destroyed by french troops a century ago.....

he made a media annoucement that he was willing to return them to chinese government if the latter is to aknowledge full recognition of human rights to political opponents.......a very confusing art and politics affair!!

by the way he is also the owner of the eponymous auction house that is auctioning the big berber jewelry collection in two weeks!!!
Comment by Preethi on January 30, 2014 at 12:37

Thanks for the info Alaa. Interesting that the exhibition is being curated by a Swedish industrial designer....

Comment by Harald on January 30, 2014 at 10:05

That is wonderful, thanks for informing us all!

Comment by Alaa eddine SAGID on January 29, 2014 at 22:17

I am pretty sure thay will be printing a catalog, will keep you posted when i ll visit!



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