Symbols and Magic in the Arts of Kabyle Women

Translated from the French by Elizabeth Corp

by Malika Grasshoff (Author)
Monographs 195 Pages


Makilam’s research on the history of women and Berber culture, one of North Africa’s most ancient civilizations, demonstrates that the Kabyle women’s magic practices, graphic symbols, and rites of passage permit a new interpretation of their cultural identity from those that have traditionally been attributed to them by Western observers. This completely new vision of the symbolic grammar of the «decorations,» notably expressed in pottery, weaving, tattoos, and wall-paintings, leads us to reconsider the meaning of the Kabyle arts and contributes to our knowledge of Maghreb cultures and the role of women in «traditional» societies.


ISBN (Hardcover)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2007. 195 pp., 3 ill.

Biographical notes

Malika Grasshoff (Author)

The Author: An anthropologist and historian, Makilam received her Ph.D. in history and ethnography from the University of Bremen, Germany. She is an indigenous Kabyle and was raised in a Berber village in northern Algeria until she was seventeen. Although she has since lived in Europe, she remains very close to her roots, and her testimony, interspersed with personal experiences, sheds new light on the rituals and myths of this vanishing society.


Title: Symbols and Magic in the Arts of Kabyle Women