Tunisian Activities: Toys

Figure 1.-- This magic lattern from the 1910s shows two little Tunisiabn Arab children at Tozeur with their favorite toys, a pull dog and a doll, standard European toys. (Note that Arab society do not hold dogs in the same esteem as Western society.) Tunuisia at the time was a French colony. Tozeur was a desert oasis in southwestern Tunisia around which a city has developed.

We know very little about Tunisian toys or Arab toys in general. Today Tunisian manufacturers are selling toys to Europe and Tunisian toy boxes are popular there. But all of this as far as we can tell has nothing to do with toys that were traditionally popular in Tunisia. It seems to be types of toys that are popular in Europe, but now manufactured in Tunisia with low-cost labor. Some do have Tunisian themes such as stuffed animals like camels. Which is interesting given the trouble the much beloved Western teddy expereienced in close by Sudan. The whole topic of toys in Muslim countries is an interesting one. We wonder if the development of toys in the Arab world was impeded by the Islamic prohibition against depicting humans and animals. Such toys are popular today, but mostly developed in Chriusian Europe. The only information we have on Tunisia toys at this time is a magic lattern slide from the 910s. But they look to us more like French-influenced toys.


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Created: 3:23 PM 4/21/2018
Last updated: 3:23 PM 4/21/2018