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Jewellery: Tamacali Inspired by Ancient African Adornment Traditions

Tamacali [Mali]

Tamacali Red choker

[Image credit: Tamacali]

Tamacali is a creative enterprise that draws on the ancient jewellery traditions of Malian Dogon, Tuareg and Togolese peoples. Seeking to bring together the talented artisans from these tribes Tamacali was founded in 2005 by Tetou Gologo, a Malian contemporary artist and the enterprise produces some amazing jewellery pieces that have a fresh modern feel without losing the heritage of the past. With the desire to develop a great Malian company owned by a woman, Tetou herself draws inspiration from the sights, sounds, smells and colours of a vibrant energetic Mali and says her designs reflect herself as a Malian woman proud of her past, walking proudly in the present and looking to building the future. Working as an artist Tetou came to jewellery design by chance when accompanying some friends who wanted to explore Mali, and found herself in an Aladdin’s cave surrounded by assorted objects and trinkets included pearls, which she was familiar with from her Grandma, her mother’s and aunts collections.

Tamacali purple choker

[Image credit: Tamacali]

Tetou and the artisans she employs, work with various materials including: silver, ebony, bronze, leather; along with pearls, colourful stones and beads in assorted shapes and sizes. All gathered from various sources and combined to create unique, beautiful and eye-catching symmetrical and asymmetrical jewellery. Local know-how and tradition appear in the form of style inspiration and detailing such as the clasps used, which were inspired by an accessory for horses hailing from the Dogon country; this is now a defining hallmark of Tamacali jewellery.

Tamacali Blush stone choker

[Image credits: Tamacali]

Tamacali is ultimately about teamwork, solidarity and reflecting Mali with each piece that is created, so not only working to preserve a heritage the artisans earn living of five times the Malian minimum wage and this has seen some use the money to attend school. Tamacali also provides employees with medical services, annual vacation and daily meals. I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to beads and all things jewellery related and having created jewellery myself I can appreciated the time, effort and skill that goes into making each piece.

Tamacali pearl choker

[Image credits: Tamacali]  

… some of these designs are just simply regal. Additional details:
For further information and to find your nearest stockist visit: www.tamacali.com

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