ethnic jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

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Hi all

  I wonder whether anyone one knows the origin of this piece which seems to be a mixture of styles - and whether it is perhaps just a made-up piece . Length is 33 cm



Hello Nick. This is very interesting. It's a nomad piece from Afghanistan. It seems to be made of pieces from a silver metal head ornament which have been stitched onto cloth and decorated with beads by local nomad women to produce another less expensive head ornament. I think it comes from the area SE of Kabul. I will include a picture of a metal head ornament from Janata's book Schmuck in Afghanistan.

Two more points, Nick, about this beautifully designed and lovingly made piece.... It's a splendid example of the recycling of old and broken parts. You often see the same process in the decoration of children's and women's clothes in this region ... where old jewellery pieces are stitched onto the fabric of blouses and dresses with delightful effect. And secondly, it's an interesting example of the division of labour between men and women: the men being occupied with metal work as smiths and jewellers; the women with sewing and beading. 

Hello Thelma

   Thanks for the information and especially the picture which has the same metalwork . I was thrown a bit by the beadwork which looked more African ...   Certainly a time consuming bit of recycling with all that beadwork


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