Have you ever seen these and wondered what they were and where they come from? These beautiful little pieces are called talhakimt or tanfouk and are worn in Mali and Mauritania in the Sahara and West Africa as hair ornaments and pendants. This design originated in India in the 1800s but was produced in pressed glass in Czechoslovakia for African trade beginning in the early 1900s.
They come in many colors, including the red, blue and green you may have seen, plus yellow, light blue, white and black and many different shades. Some colors and materials are much more rare than others and can be very expensive. You can find these in a variety of sizes from very tiny to over 3 inches in length. Some are even made of metal or beautiful natural agate. For examples, see the Red Camel's selection of talhakimt here near the bottom of the page.
|Talhakimt can be made of glass, agate or other materials|