Amulet as pectoral pendant, terewt

20e siècle

Musée des Confluences

Musée des Confluences
Lyon, France

Many animals are social by nature. This sociability is expressed in many different ways. It may be a simple grouping together or something much more complex, involving elaborate systems of communication. Primate societies and human societies in particular, are distinguished by their complexity. Humans have the capacity to learn more than any other species. This means that they even go as far as questioning their own lifestyle and social structures. They have invented an infinite number of values, practices and artefacts which are used to govern their relationships and place in society.

Our social behaviours are expressed through an endless array of practices. As reflected, for example, by the multiple social moments punctuating our lives that demonstrate our membership in society. This complexity is also reflected in the diversity of signs expressing the status and the role of each member.

Among them, adornments are not uniquely used for purposes of identification. Many are intended to protect their owners from evil. Touareg people, for example, believe that protection comes from specific materials or from extracts of the Koran present in amulets.


  • Title: Amulet as pectoral pendant, terewt
  • Date Created: 20e siècle
  • Location: Africa (Niger)
  • Physical Dimensions: H: 23.5 cm; L: 16 cm
  • Provenance: Donated by Jean Burner (Association Masnat) in 2015
  • Subject Keywords: extra-European ethnography, Tuareg, jewel, set of jewels, amulet
  • Type: set of jewels
  • Rights: Musée des Confluences (Lyon, France) © Marie Perrier
  • External Link: Learn more at the museum website
  • Medium: silver alloy, copper, leather, tin plate, brass

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