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With bucket and spade in hand, Sabiha Ayari from Sejnane in northern Tunisia is among the women keeping alive an ancient tradition of creating pottery with all-natural materials. Using skills handed down from generation to generation, she extracts red and white clay from local wadis to craft terracotta artifacts, such as dolls and animal figurines as well as cooking utensils for the kitchen.The pottery, mostly cream-colored with black and red motifs, was added in 2018 to the prestigious "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" of UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization."These are Berber motifs, the same as those found on traditional outfits and tattoos," says Ayari, a respected potter in her 50s committed to preserving the ancestral tradition.Seated in her lean-to overlooking the family lands, she scoops up the clay and spends most of her time fashioning utensils as well as stylized tortoises and horses.After a dayslong drying process, the pots are varnished with a thin coat of white clay.
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