The Berbers are considered to be the earliest occupants of the regions stretching north of the Sahara. Their ancient cultural tradition has been enhanced by absorbing diverse outside influences, the result of successive invasions punctuating the history of the southern Mediterranean ever since the arrival of the Phoenicians – followed by the Greeks, the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines and finally the Arabs. Through appropriation and assimilation, the Berbers gave birth to an exceptionally rich culture, while retaining the very foundations of an age-old civilisation born when the Sahara was still green.
The remarkable collection of finery assembled by Anne-Marie Gillion Crowet relates this fascinating history brilliantly. Besides the virtuosity of the Muslim and Jewish artisans, this jewellery also testifies to the complex situation of women within the Berber world. The fruit of a partnership with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, Berber Memories pays tribute to Berber women, as guardians and conveyors of civilisation in Morocco.