The Lucky Charms of Senegal

Senegal – Talhakimt – Good Luck Charms from Around the World

Our lucky charms and symbols can have a chequered past.  It might be that there is a single precious item that is bestowed with good fortune.  However, this talisman is then mass-produced and reintroduced into the original culture as a lucky charm.  Such is the story of the Talhakimt.

Senegal – Talhakimt

The Talhakimt is shaped like an arrowhead.  It is then fixed to a ring.  The very first Talhakimt, which is said to be a protective amulet, worn as a fertility charm or to ward off evil, was created and sold in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal in West Africa.  However, it was soon mass-produced in factories from India to Europe and then exported back to West Africa for sale in street markets.  It is likely they are sold to tourists from India and Europe, who return home with them as a traditional West African lucky charm.

History of the lucky charm of Senegal  

The original Talhakimt was modelled from an Indian carnelian finger-ring.  It was originally shaped in gold.  However, now they can be made from glass or plastic and come in a variety of colours.

Why the Talhakmit charm is bringing luck

If you visit Czechoslovakia, one of the European companies known for producing these charms, they will tell you the Talhakmit is a form of love charm.  You would wear it as a necklace or as a hair ornament, and it would help you find your union with a man or a woman.  The symbol relates to the ancient beliefs of people who believed it represented tales linked to the beginning of the world or the beginning of life.  This is why it is so often linked to fertility.

How to use the Talhakmit charm

You would wear the Talhakmit as a charm on a necklace or as a pendant in your hair.

How the Talhakmit charm is made

The charms are not mass-produced from glass or plastic and can be found all over African street markets, and some European countries.

How to make the Talhakimt charm at home

It is the shape that is symbolic, as opposed to the objects themselves.  Consequently,  you can make your own Talhakimt charm by shaping the material into the arrow on top of a ring.

Interesting and fun facts about Talhakmit charm

The oldest example of such a carnelian ring is thought to actually derive from Aswan in South Egypt.  Though many believe it has Indian origins.

The Talhakimt was once used as a traditional means of payment.

The pendants are also sometimes referred to as Tanfouk.

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