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Camel Saddle

Tuareg peoples

Not on view

The camel arrived on the Mediterranean coast of Africa from the Middle East around the first century B.C. Able to carry heavier loads and travel greater distances without water than horses or donkeys, camels were essential to the development of regular long-distance commerce across the desert in the seventh century. An adorned leather saddle such as this example is designed to fit in front of the camel’s hump on top of several saddle cloths, allowing the rider to rest his feet. The forked saddle horn between the rider’s legs could be used to steady himself.

Camel Saddle, Wood, leather, copper, dye, Tuareg peoples

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© Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY