Old Bakelite African Berber Necklace used as a dowry





Spectacular old Bakelite Berber Necklace used as a dowry, important both for its size and the value that communicates as a social status: Bakelite, born in the early years of the last century and sold in large quantities to Europe and the United States around the ’20s, is a synthetic material which is extremely versatile and suitable for different uses, such as the manufacture of components for electrical parts and objects and jewelery, for it accurately can imitate Amber, Ivory and Tortoise, all high quality materials and in some cases prohibited, and therefore unavailable.
For the Berber peoples of the Atlas region and the Ethiopians, Amber is the protective material par excellence, used as a shield and defense because of its magical and prophylactic properties. Counted as one of the most important jewels of dowry, the necklace in Amber have always had a high commercial cost: so families with little disposable income would buy Bakelite jewelry, of an identical appearance and symbolic value, but less expensive, and to which were attributed the same qualities of the authentic material.
This prestigious necklace, dating from the ’30s or so, is an example of how important it was to wear items of this type for the local women and these days can definitely become part of a collection.

The diameter of the individual elements that make up the necklace varies from 2 to 4.5 cm.

Weight 1060 grams

Country of origin

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