Jewish brides on the island of Djerba were covered from head to toe in multiple layers of jewelry, creating a dazzling effect. The headgear (kufiya), composed of gold disks resembling coins, identified them as married women and distinguished them from their Muslim neighbors. The kufiya was part of the women's trousseau and was considered their own property, and they could use the gold disks in times of personal distress.
The jewelry is typically adorned with motifs of barley seeds, fish, birds, and hamsas, believed to ensure the women’s fertility and ward off the evil eye; especially prominent is the crescent – a symbol of strength and renewal – whose two horns are attributed with the power to strike the evil eye.
Purchase, Paz Company
Gift of Charlotte Bergman, New York and Jerusalem
The Zeyde Schulmann Collection in the Israel Museum