Traditional Artisan Comes to Del Mar
Tuareg artisan and community leader Elhadji Mohamed Kaumama and his son Ismael of Niger will visit Del Mar on July 31 as part of a national tour. The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Fair Trade Décor in the heart of the village, featuring a demonstration and sale of handcrafted silver Tuareg jewelry. The Kaumama Family Collective has been making jewelry in the Agadez, Niger area for 25 generations. They are known for their high quality jewelry using 99.99% pure fine silver, ebony, and semi precious stones. Each piece is hand hammered using simple tools and beautifully engraved with the symbolism and motifs of generations. The Tuareg believe that jewelers have special powers because of their handling of fire in the making of the jewelry.
The traditionally nomadic Tuareg, indigenous to the Sahara desert, are often called “the Blue People of the desert” due to the indigo dye on their garments that stains their skin. Elhadji, the family patriarch, was born and lived as a nomad until he was 10. He was the first in his family to attend school. As an adult, he first visited the United States with almost nothing in his possession but the jewelry of the Tuareg people, which he sold at street events in northern California. This year, Elhadji is representing 50 artisans from Niger at festivals, museums, and events in 9 U.S. cities, including the Santa Fe Folk Art Festival.
The Tuareg trunk show concludes with a performance of African drumming and dancing by the WorldBeat Centre of San Diego from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m also at Fair Trade Décor in Del Mar. WorldBeat is a nonprofit multi-cultural arts organization in San Diego dedicated to promoting, presenting, and preserving the African and indigenous cultures of the world through music, art, dance, education, and technology. Their main goal is to create unity within diversity.
Fair Trade Décor is located at 1412 Camino Del Mar, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For directions or additional information about the Tuareg jewelry event call 858-461-1263. or visit www.fairtradedecor.com