Photographs © Tim Hamill
TUAREG, LEATHER MAT 64, 19" l. (31" with fringe) x 18" w., $500 Niger
(The extremely heavy fringe on this mat suggests that it was woven for a chief.)
The Tuareg are fiercely independent nomadic people. On the move with their herds and camels over vast areas of the southern Sahara, they create an impressive world of traditional, functional objects of leather which was their primary material due to its durability, lightness and flexibility. Masters of geometric abstract design, the Tuareg fashioned objects ranging from saddlebags to cushions to tent mats that were painted and molded, embroidered, engraved and fringed.
These mats are woven of straw decorated with dyed leather strips which form both a geometric pattern on the mat and a fringed border.
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