North Africa and Middle East collections


 Les collections d’Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient couvrent ici une vaste zone géographique comprenant les pays d’Afrique septentrionale et d’Asie occidentale. Cet espace abrite plusieurs groupes linguistiques, incluant la langue amazigh, les langues sémitiques, turques et iraniennes et l’arménien. 

The collections from North Africa and the Middle East cover a vast geographical zone from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Over twenty thousand objects have been assembled here, representing essentially ethnography and the decorative arts. The collections also include, surprisingly, around six hundred archaeological objects originating from archaeological sites such as Thebes in Egypt and Dura-Europos in Syria. 

The collections were assembled as of 1878 from the generous donations of colonial organizations, anthropologists, soldiers open to the Social Sciences and individuals.  They were expanded considerably from the thirties with collections organized in the field but also through successive purchases. Since then, they continue to be enriched over the years with new acquisitions. 

Great names from the world of science are today associated with these collections, such as Count Robert du Mesnil Buisson, Pierre Rondot, Charles Kuentz, René Verneau, Henri Lhotte and Germaine Tillion. 

The collections include important series of items – household utensils, personal grooming accessories, tools, toys, amulets -witness the daily life of urban populations, rural and Bedouin. 

However, the key pieces of these collections are without any doubt the costumes, arms, jewelry and clothing, pottery and faïence and lastly the rural carpets, reflections of an art of living and a know-how that has since disappeared. 

De grands noms du monde scientifique sont aujourd’hui associés à ces collections : Robert du Mesnil BuissonPierre RondotCharles KuentzRené VerneauHenri Lhotte ou encore Germaine Tillion.

Les collections comprennent des séries importantes d’objets  – ustensiles domestiques, accessoires de toilettesoutils, jeux et jouetsamulettes…- qui témoignage de la vie quotidienne des populations citadines, rurales et bédouines.

Mais les pièces maîtresses de ces collections sont sans conteste : les costumesles armesles bijoux et les paruresles poteries et les faïences et enfin les tapis ruraux. Ces pièces sont le reflet d’un art de vivre et d’un savoir-faire parfois disparus.

Women in Orient

Women in Orient

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This exhibition is a hymm to oriental women and reveals another aspect of femininity. From the North of Syria to the Sinaï peninsula, it introduces an exceptional collection of 150 traditional costumes and accessories from the Near East, selected by designer Christian Lacroix, in close co-operation with Hana Chidiac, Head of the North African and Near East collections at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.