Saharan - North African - Amazigh Toys and Play
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collections of

North African and Saharan Children's Toys

some Anti-Atlas children's toys, Sidi Ifni, 2005

Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France

The important collection of North African and Saharan toys of the former Musée de l'Homme in Paris has been taken over by the Musée du Quai Branly and is part of the Unité Patrimoniale Afrique du Nord et Proche-Orient. Between 1980 and 1986 I have analysed these toys and the results of this analysis are integrated in the volumes of the collection Saharan and North African Toy and Play Cultures (see publications).

Musée du Jouet de Moirans-en-Montagne, France

In 2005 the Musée du Jouet received for its project Toys of the World a donation of 29 Ghrib children’s toys obtained during my research in the Tunisian Sahara in 1975. At the same time I gave this museum 641 toys that I obtained from Moroccan children between 1992 and 2005.

For an overview of this collection see: Rossie, Jean-Pierre et Musée du Jouet (2005). Projet d’acquisition de la collection de l’anthropologue J-P. Rossie. Thématique : Jeux et jouets des enfants sahariens et nord-africains. Projet soumis à la Commission scientifique interrégionale « Bourgogne - Franche-Comté » du 13 octobre 2005. Moirans-en-Montagne: Musée du Jouet, 95 p., 198 ill. Available on

The Musée du Jouet created with these toys the exposition

Déserts. Enfants du Sahara et des montagnes de l’Atlas, 2006-2009

Speelgoedmuseum/Toy museum, Mechelen, Belgium

From 1987 till 2005 the Speelgoedmuseum exposed my small collection of toys from the Ghrib children of the Tunisian Sahara. In 2005 I donated to this museum 8 toys of the Ghrib children and 27 toys of Moroccan children.

The review of this museum also published the following articles:

Rossie, Jean-Pierre (1987). Kinderspel en speelgoed bij de Ghrib uit de noord-westelijke Tunesische Sahara. In ‘t Trojaanse Hobbelpaard, Jaarboek van het Studiecentrum voor Speelgoed en Volkskunde, Mechelen, volume III, 192 p., p. 53-84, ill.

Rossie, Jean-Pierre (1989). Creativiteit en sociaal-culturele reproduktie doorheen spel en speelgoed. In ‘t Trojaanse Hobbelpaard, Jaarboek van het Studiecentrum voor Speelgoed en Volkskunde, Mechelen, vol. V, 43-63, 18 ill. Available on this website

Fondation Orient-Occident Centre de Safi, Morocco

In the context of a cultural week on Moroccan children's toys and games (22-26.12.2009) an exposition has been set up with the about hundred toys created by Anti-Atlas children I donated to this center.

Centro per la Cultura Ludica, Torino, Italy

The Centro per la Cultura Ludica worked out the exposition Children's Dreams following a donation of Moroccan children"s toys. This exposition opens in November 2010. Information on these toys is found in the following publication:

Rossie, Jean-Pierre (2010). Jouets d’enfants marocains : don au Centro per la Cultura Ludica de Torino - liste finale de 268 jouets, 34 p., 169 ill. Available on this website

In preparation of this exposition I gave a seminar at the Centro per la Cultura Ludica, 4-6 June 2008 for which the following document has been made:

Rossie, Jean-Pierre (2008). Rêves d'enfants : jeux et jouets de l'Anti-Atlas et du Sahara. Document de travail pour les séminaires au Centro per la Cultura Ludica, Torino, 4-6 juin 2008, Centro Internationale Ludoteche, Firenze, 31 p. Available on this website


I sincerely thank Khalija Jariaa (Tiznit) and Boubaker Daoumani (Sidi Ifni)
for their valuable help in my research on Anti-Atlas children’s toys and play.

Khalija Jariaa (left) in the village Imjad, Anti-Atlas, 2006

Boubaker Doaumani with his pupils in the village Lahfart, Anti-Atlas, 2006

© since 2005, , Jean-Pierre Rossie