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Two left: Tasseled metal bookmark from Yves St. Laurent’s Berber Museum, Marrakech

Two left: Tasseled metal bookmark from Yves St. Laurent’s Berber Museum, Marrakech

$40.00


If you are a lover of books or want a gift for a reader, this beautiful bookmark is a unique, high quality and beautiful choice with an interesting story combining ancient Phoenicians, 5000 years of Amazigh culture and French fashion designer Yves St Laurent’s Marrakech Berber Museum....all wrapped into an object to keep your place in a book! 

Every time I travel to Marrakech I visit Yves St Laurent’s Berber (Amazigh) Museum to immerse myself in the exquisite collection of traditional Berber clothing from most regions of the country and the out-of-this-world collection of the most awe-inspiring Amazigh jewellery imaginable. 

Apart from buying books for myself in the glorious book shop there, I buy these bookmarks to sell in my little shop. They are a finely polished metal decorated with inscriptions of the ancient Amazigh alphabet known as Tifinagh. The characters are ancient and quite distinctive - often referred to as neo-Phoenecian. 

The Amazigh are credited with preserving the Phoenician language till the time of Saint Augustine in the 5th century and traces of the Phoenician alphabet are evident in their alphabet. The Amazigh language, known as Tamazight, is therefore one of the oldest languages of humanity. Nowadays, it is spoken by the people of North Africa , Egyptian oasis of Siwa and the Touaregs in the Sahara . Since the earliest foundation of human societies, the Amazigh people occupied the Northern part of Africa which extends  from the red sea to the Canary Isles in the ocean, and from the Niger in the Sahara to the mediteranean sea.

The Berber language has been predominantly oral only and has not been written - until fairly recently - except as short inscriptions on monuments. 

Each bookmark with its ancient Tifinagh script is topped by a beautiful Moroccan tassel. The Moroccan tassel-maker is a revered artisan. He is adept at knotting, twisting and plying fine almost spider web threads into threads of various plys and fashioning incredibly complex wedding belts, tassels of every design and cording of every description.