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Many of the tribes in North African cover baskets with goat or camel leather stretched over a sturdy basket woven of coiled, dried grasses. This one appears Tuareg judging by the designs but so far Ive found only one that is similar, and titled 'Sorcerer or Diviner's bag'. Other than this Ive not yet found anything similar in collections,reference books, or for sale.

Not sure what this was used for, but have researched enough to know the designs are traditional protective devices. Maybe it belonged to somebody who worked with medicines, folk healing, or herbs. I say this because of the profusion of protective icons painted and drawn on its surface, as if protecting the contents and protecting the owner who used them. Ive seen a few of these for sale but they are new and ornamented with lots of colors, fringe and other decorations. This example,judging by design, manufacture and condition of leather (traditional tanning method) was probably made in the first half of the 20th century. If you have any information on these Id love to hear it!

The shade of this bag is a warm burnt sienna. The colors used are black and red. The flash photos come closest to actual appearance. If we get some sun this week ill take new photos that will provide a better example of condition, manufacture and condition.

Most Tuareg bags today have colorful dyed leathers, cut work and braided strips. This old example was made for and used by the People. It was worn and faded when I got it from an African bead dealer and has sat in my collection ever since. Please note the worn areas on the underside, in the photo they look like lighter patches. This authentic old leather bag is decorated with colorful dyed leather strips and traditional Tuareg geometric designs on leather. There are also symbols added in what looks like ball point pen - see the photo. The base is leather stretched over a coiled basket form.

One photo shows the bag with a vase inside, to prevent the soft unstructured sides from flopping over, so you can get better look. Theres also a photo of the bag with nothing inside, showing the way it flops over.

The underside is also ornamented, indicating it was meant to hang from a camel saddle and be seen by those on foot.

No returns, so please ask lots of questions and for more photos if needed, before purchasing.

BASE 9" WIDE across the underside of bag
WOVEN "BASKET" part of the bag, 4.2" high


North African, very old leather covered basket bag


  • Vintage item
  • Materials: leather, dried grasses
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 456 reviews
  • Favorited by: 33 people