The Tunisian Khlel - also called fibulae - symbolises female class, beauty and wealth. Women use it both to decorate their outfits on a daily basis and for special occasions.
This jewel was very widespread in the south and northwestern regions of Tunisia. Even while wearing traditional outfits has practically disappeared in some regions, some families still guard these traditions with pride by wearing the malia daily that is always decorated and pinned with a Khlel.
Second picture shows a real fibulae of almost 100 years old. This is a piece that I hold very close to my heart, as it comes from my grandmother’s village. This piece has engravings that are typical for Tunisia: the stars in the corners and the fish in the middle.
The symbol of the fish is seen everywhere in Tunisia. As an object above a door to protect against the evil eye. It's also find on all kind of objects, pottery, carpets or even on jewelry. There's a Tunisian saying "Hout Aalik" that means “The fish be with you”, a way to say to bring luck to someone.
The symbol Amazigh ⵣ - is a symbol that is engraved in many of the silver pieces and has an important significance. I received a couple of messages about the word Amazigh, it is not a typO.
Amazigh means free people in the indigenous Tamazight language. Often people use the word berber to refer to our North-African cultural traditions and history.
We no longer stand by this colonial term. The word berber has a negative connotation as its related to the word barbarian. Romans used to refer to our people with this word.
The single word is Amazigh and the plural is Imazighen. The symbol ⵣ, also the letter “yaz” is one of the thirty-three letters of the Tifinagh alphabet.