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Commonly referred to as the Tuareg or Berber people, the Kel Imashaghen (“Free People) comprise one of the largest nomadic groups in Africa, scattered throughout the Western Sahara, as well as pockets of Nigeria and Ethiopia. They have also come to be known by the moniker “Blue Men” due to the brilliant blue dyed turbans worn by the male head of the family ('Amajah'). The Berber are a predominantly Muslim culture, reflected in the inscription of the enlarged cross on many Tuareg Pendants. Contrary to popular belief, the Tuareg Cross is not a Christian interpretation; in fact, the arms of the cross represent the protective arms of Allah, believed to shield the wearer from evil. Gemstones have long adorned the necks of Tuareg tribe leaders, and many replications of these regal adornments are produced by craftsmen today using semi-precious stones. Tuareg pendants with stones are usually quite simple in design, with etched inscriptions derived from ancient Tuareg texts – the most common being “God is the core of my being, I am one with God”. The focal stone will usually be a semi-precious mineral such as amazonite, carnelian or amber, although modern pendants may also incorporate jet black onyx to add contrast instead of niello enamel.