Crafts

Tunisian handicrafts jewelry

The history of the Tunisian jewelry traces its very roots to the beginnings of the Punic era from which it borrows several signs, symbols and forms that are found today in the current jewelry.

This ancient craft has been enriched with various Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Turkish and Andalusian contributions that shaped Women’s adornment in different ways.

Today, the long-held distinction between rural silver jewel and urban gold jewel has definitely faded.

The variety of materials, the increase in production centers and the changing tastes stripped the jewelry its symbolic value to keep only its market value. Certainly some regional differences still persist and suggest the origins of different ornaments, but they are no longer exclusive to artisans of a given region: wedding ornaments evolved with the institution whose ceremonial is increasingly desacralized.

Rihanna, a large chain of flat gold rings. The Skhab, a gold, silver and amber chain. The Khomsas, the Kholkhals: ankle rings, fibulae, accessories for Melia, the Khellas…attest to the variety and richness of these peculiarities but gradually give way to the generation of popular jewelry: gold bracelets, diamond shaped inlay rings with semi-precious stones and enamels, modernized necklaces and European buckles.

Currently, designers and artists invest the field of crafts and innovate offering a very modern jewelry.

 

Tunisian silver craft

Unlike jewelry that changes and loses its symbolic value, Tunisian silverware, if it also loses its functions, perpetuates the same objects and keep the same enthusiasm among customers: luxury utensils, trinkets and accessories furnish and decorate the interior modern. The type collection consists of a censer (Mabkhara) a aspergeir (mrech) stylized compacts, combs, shoes, boxes (Kanawita) and bathroom mirrors. The repoussé and filigree compete in beauty and offer menus other items to the admiration of collectors.
This range is expanding increasingly to furniture, consoles, mirrors and armchairs or the art of the cabinetmaker is requested.

 

Tunisian copper crafts

Wrought iron, white copper, enamel, metals are kings in the making of ornaments and utilitarian objects: vases, trays, teapots, kettles, pots, candy, dishes, lamps, braziers … Traditional techniques have exceeded the functional requirements to into artistic means of expression.
Copper

Copper is the metal of which handicrafts made the greatest use. This is the 18th century that the craft of copper had its golden age in Tunisia, particularly in large cities (Tunis, Sfax, Kairouan). The copper objects are an important part of the trousseau of the bride in urban families until the mid-twentieth century. Today, chasing is spreading and wire inlay adorns money, especially for yellow copper plates.
Pots and red copper pots keeping visible traces of hammering, and which is used as a cache pots. Like ceramics, vases the most varied forms such as braziers, the candy boxes, flower vases, are covered with a vitreous enamel warm colors like green, purple and honey, that leaves a shine floral decoration schematically.
Very fashionable, enameled copper, which is adorned with all colors and embellished with various motifs.

Tunisian handicrafts jebba

Traditional Costume
If today, Tunisian dress and adorn themselves in the same way, it was different at the beginning of the century, where each region or every village had its male and female costumes.
Traditional female costume

The traditional female costume is characterized by its variety from one region to another. However, the essential part that constitutes the tunic is “cut and sewn”. Designed in large simple tunics forms are often sleeveless, cut into fabrics of wool, cotton or silk, depending on the circumstances. Embroidery is the hallmark of the different regional costumes.
Silver wire, glitter and gold purls are the Ornaments of almost all women’s clothing: shirts (Qmajja) vest (Farmla) dress (Jebba and Kadrûn) scarf (Takrita), Bonnet (Qoufiya) Sleeve (Kmâm) and tunic wedding (large Qmajja).
In the Sahel, rich drapes are manufactured, embroidered with gold and silk where multiple figurative motifs abound: people, flowers, animals… Village women in the mountains of the South enhance their elegant draped dresses with geometric patterns. Caps richly decorated with silk embroidery, silver, pearls and gold jewelry, varied blouses with wide sleeves in lace, embroidery footwear were indispensable complements of these female costumes.
Traditional male costume

It has its regional specificities while referring to Arab ancestry for its general appearance (full costume). The Kaddroun, the blouse, the bden are still worn especially in rural areas, but this is the Jebba which has become traditional national dress.

 

Tunisian handicrafts carpet

TUNISIAN CARPETS aremainly producedin Kairouan and Jerid. All are handmade butthere are two basictypes, those that areknotted and thosethat are woven. Theknotted variety costmore and have up to160,000 knots persquare metre. Most ofthe designs tend to bebased on a centraldiamond shape that isthought to derivefrom the lamp in theGreat Mosque inKairouan. Knotted carpetscome in two main types:Alloucha and Zarbia. Zarbiacarpets use reds, greens andblues while the Allouchacarpets are produced inbeiges, browns and whites.Woven or Mergoum carpetsare cheaper to buy and haveBerber origins.

 

Tunisian handicrafts pottery

The clay work is one of three activities that were born with man. Like the textile and leather, it is deeply rooted since the distant past in Tunisia since the Gafsienne civilization was in contact with Pharaonic Egypt, Greece and Persia.
Traditionally, there were two types of pottery: a tour by men, and another modeled by women, the latter met only in rural areas, and it was essentially utilitarian.
Throughout history we see the birth of a patterned pottery in Tunisia dates from Neolithic I. ages. Each carries pottery forms and decorations adapted to its function, every form has a cultural value and responds to a need.

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