Moshe Nemni Gold and craft jewelry of the Jews of Tunisia
The North African jewelery has a great tradition, ancient – it is the millennium Berber art that continues in southern Morocco in northern Niger. Remarkably she met great developments when it merged with the Jewish goldsmith’s art. This union is the cantor Moshe Nemni. His muse is chased silver, on its land of welcome – the most ancient of the world: the North African coast from Tripoli to Tunis.
Moshe Nemni? A Jew of Libyan families. Libya purely Berber land. Libya Libou – Berber tribal name as given by the Egyptians in their texts 3,000 years ago. The Egyptians spoke of the people of these tribes as particularly red. They still are – many in Kabylia – fertile ground for jewelery – where sometimes you can come across in the villages of the Djurdjura what appears to be Irish tourists.
Moshe Nemni still young migrates from a prominent family and senior officials Tripolitanian to Tunis to practice his art of silversmithing. He moved to Tunis and founded his family – well before the 2nd world war – it is Italian nationality. Nemni is devoted body and soul to his art. It is known, recognized and loved in his lifetime, in the most remote corners of all Tunisia. It forms itself other goldsmiths around him. His art, in the work of chiselling and its styling is unique and wonderful.
Moshe later in life emigrated to Israel. He died there soon after. Rest in peace. The art continues slightly but quickly dies. The memory and the desire remains, grows, becomes firmer.
Finally Tunisian Muslims – probably under a pressing demand of the Jewish community djerbienne – took up the torch managing to regain control of what became or “Nemni” – unique and wonderful art of carving. They are now able to create 5 goldsmith and jewelery in Nemni art. Of these 5, 4 belong to the artisan jewelers family Djerba – an old family of craftsmen and merchants Jerban Fondouk (caravanserai Djerba) – Ben Ghorbal.
They are the only ones at present to control and work the Nemni for the community in Djerba and Tunis – local and international community.