Category Archives: Jewels and Adornments

Belonging and Belongings in the Land of the Iceni – Natasha Harlow

Belonging and Belongings in the Land of the Iceni – Natasha Harlow

This paper explores the social and cultural transitions which occurred during the late Iron Age and early Roman periods (circa 100 BCE-200 CE) in the modern counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. I discuss issues of identity (belonging) and how people may have responded to these changes through portable personal objects (belongings). I use the… Continue Reading

Yaroslava Kellermann – Designer

Yaroslava Kellermann – Designer

About myself My brother and I were raised in a family of teachers. Except of math and history, both of my parents studied music, so we were surrounded by it and by books. The last years of the Soviet Union and the first of Ukrainian independence were extremelly harsh, but I remember that my mom… Continue Reading

l’Argent de la Lune / Das Silber des Mondes a book review by Alaa Eddine Sagid

l’Argent de la Lune / Das Silber des Mondes a book review by Alaa Eddine Sagid

Interest in North African jewelry dates back to very early French colonial times in Algeria. Tens of publications are readily available for the keen and the passionate to survey the wealth of adornments from this rich region. Early explorers, ethnographers, photographers and state scholars have compiled tremendous and precious data in this field. They would… Continue Reading

How Do You Reconcile Beauty and Truth? by Barbara Steinberg

How Do You Reconcile Beauty and Truth? by Barbara Steinberg

In 1789, the French Revolution started a political pendulum that swung sharply between Republic and Empire. The 1848 Revolution installed a democratic republic, whose electorate put Prince Louis-Napolèon Bonaparte and his Imperialist party into power. Napolèon III adopted the earlier revolution-motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité, but in 1851, he staged a coup and proclaimed the Second French Empire.… Continue Reading

Tibetan Ga’u By Leonor Arno

Tibetan Ga’u By Leonor Arno

The charm box pendant called the ga’u originated in Tibet. This sort of jewellery is in wide use throughout the western and eastern sub-Himalayan area by tribes who follow Buddhism and others who emulate them, though the local term used to designate it varies with the group. The origin of the charm container-pendant in Tibet… Continue Reading

The untruths we learned from the art of the Victorian Celtic Revival.

The untruths we learned from the art of the Victorian Celtic Revival.

The Celts were a branch of the Indo -Europeans. Proto Celtic people from the Balkans came to Central Europe in 2500 BC The earliest major Celtic settlement was in Hallstatt, Austria. The name Celt is derived from the Greek word Keltoi, meaning Barbarian. Those referred to by this name were not of one culture, but… Continue Reading

Hanbok

Hanbok

The Hanbok is traditionally worn by Korean people. It was worn on a daily basis until around 100 years ago. The earliest evidence of this style of dress is found in the Koguya tombs, which are the only surviving remains of the Koguryo kingdom, which existed between the 3rd century BC and 7th century AD. The… Continue Reading

Ineke Hemmiga and the Tuareg – Blue men of the Sahara

Ineke Hemmiga and the Tuareg – Blue men of the Sahara

Rarely do people evolve their identity and live the connection between Europe and Africa. Ineke Hemminga, a Dutch national has lived and worked with the Tuareg in Mali. Adopted by the Inaden, the artisan-silversmith caste of the Tuareg, Ineke travelled the Sahara , fascinated by theTuaregs’ nomadic lifestyle threatened on all sides by extinction against the collateral damage… Continue Reading

Catacomb Saints

Catacomb Saints

Between the 16th and 19th century, by order of the Vatican thousands of ancient Roman corpses were exhumed from the catacombs of Rome.These skeletal remains were given fictitious names and were sent abroad as relics of saints. Although it is unlikely that any of the corpses were of religious significance, the remains were decorated, bejewelled… Continue Reading

Nose Rings in Pre-Columbian Civilizations By Barbara Steinberg

Nose Rings in Pre-Columbian Civilizations  By Barbara Steinberg

Civilizations are finite. Time, climate change, conquerors, and assimilation transform peoples.  Blood mixes. Ideas meld. The center cannot hold.  Beginning around 900 BC, many cultures thrived on the central-western coasts of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia before the rise of the Inca Empire in the 13th Century, and Francisco Pizarro’s first victory of the Spanish Conquest at… Continue Reading

Maasai

Maasai

  The Maasai people live nomadically in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, also known as the great lakes region. The origins of the Maasai people has been traced back to the 15th century in the lower Nile valley. The Maasai worship a single deity called Enkai or Engai; Enkai has two personas, Enkai Narok (… Continue Reading

Bindi

Bindi

  Traditionally worn in India a bindi is a decoration of the forehead, usually a red dot, although other colours and jewelled versions are also used. The bindi is mentioned in the earliest Sanskrit text. Traditional Application is with the finger tip using vermilion powder, however a circular stencil and sticky wax paste is often… Continue Reading

The Kiani Crown

The Kiani Crown

  This opulent and splendid crown was worn for coronations in Iran during the Qajar dynasty (1796 – 1925) The Kayanian are a dynasty of Iranian legend, the Kayanian kings are the heroes of Avesta, the sacred writings of Zoroastrianism. The Kiani crown is a physical manifestation of the belief in the divine royal glory.… Continue Reading

Kara and Kirpan

Kara and Kirpan

  In 1699 Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of Sikhism, created the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib. This occasion transformed Sikhs into a family of soldier saints. During the transformative festival Guru Gobind Singh came out of a tent holding a sword, and challenged any Sikh who was prepared to give his life to… Continue Reading

Stanley Hill, Sr., and Seneca Iroquois Combs by Kajetan Fiedorowicz

Stanley Hill, Sr., and Seneca Iroquois Combs by Kajetan Fiedorowicz

Many contemporary tribal artists reach to their nations’ historical sources for inspiration, which provides for a certain continuation of tradition. However, they do not always admit that reference. This makes the process of “joining stylistic dots” much harder, but not impossible. The comb presented below, carved c. 1977 by Stanley Hill, Sr., (Mohawk Clan) is… Continue Reading

The Snettisham Hoard.

The Snettisham Hoard.

  The Snettisham hoard dates from the Iron Age circa 75BCE and was discovered in Snettisham in Norfolk. UK , by metal detcetorist Charles Hodder. In all 9 kilos of gold and silver were discovered including 70 complete torcs. Some pieces had been discovered in Snettisham between 1948 and 1973, however the discovery in 1990… Continue Reading

Etruscan Jewellery.

Etruscan Jewellery.

  The Etruscan people were a sophisticated, luxury loving people who lived in Northern Italy 800 – 400 BC. They were astute traders, and had great wealth. Wealthy Etruscans built them selves dwellings for the afterlife. These dwellings were very similar to those which they had inhabited in life.Whole villages and towns of these tombs… Continue Reading

Nath

Nath

A nath is a piece of jewellery used in India which is worn through a piercing in the nose. Nath are worn extensively by Indian women, however the tradition is likely to have originated in the Middle East, it is likely that the Mughuls brought the nath to India. The nath is worn in a… Continue Reading

Mud cloth Bogolan

Mud cloth Bogolan

Mud cloth is a type of fabric which is made by the Bamana peoples of Mali in West Africa. The cotton fabric is woven in strips by men and is subsequently dyed by the women using an iron rich clay slip which is collected from riverbeds and fermented. Jars of Bogolan (fermented slip) are stored… Continue Reading

The Gold Crowns of Mycenae, Bactria, and Silla By Barbara Steinberg

The Gold Crowns of Mycenae, Bactria, and Silla By Barbara Steinberg

According to archeological finds by Heinrich Schliemann, an elliptical gold diadem with removable crown-ornaments was first discovered in a Mycenaean funerary mound called Grave Circle A, or the “Grave of Women”, c. 1600-1500 BC. The Mycenaeans were an Indo-European people who settled in Southern Greece along the Agean Sea in the Bronze Age (1600-1100 BC). They came… Continue Reading

Asrou n swoul.

Asrou n swoul.

The attire of a Tuareg woman of the African Sahara consists of a large rectangular piece of fabric. The fabric, also known as Mellhafa is held in place in the billowing winds of the Sahara by a very particular and unique piece of jewellery. The Asrou n swoul, meaning the key which will be thrown… Continue Reading

Guedra by Sarah Corbett

Guedra by Sarah Corbett

The word Guedra represents several aspects of a form of dance which is particular to Southern Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria. The primary meaning is cooking pot, when this pot is covered with a stretched leather skin to create a drum, the drum is also known as Guedra. When the drummer plays a beat representing a… Continue Reading

Asyk By Sarah Corbett

Asyk By Sarah Corbett

The Asyk Worn by the Turkoman peoples of Central Asia, the asyk is an imposing adornment which is suspended from the hair by use of plaits as a back ornament. There are many sizes and decorative styles, all of them incorporate a symbol which to the Western eye is a heart, although it is more… Continue Reading

The Lingam Necklace

The Lingam Necklace

A Lingam necklace is a silver casket worn to contain a piece of smooth oval stone called a Lingum. The Lingam ( Ishtalinga) stone is a natural river worn stone primarily of Jasper found in the Narmada river ( a tributary of the Ganges River) in India. The lingam stone represents the God Shiva. In… Continue Reading

Ashanti Gold by Sarah Corbett

Ashanti Gold by Sarah Corbett

The great kingdom of Ashanti was built upon the golden riches which lay beneath it’s soil. The Ashanti Kingdoms began to develop in the mid 16th century, and by the 17th century Ashanti was becoming established as an expanding power and by the middle of the 19th century Ashanti controlled most of the area which… Continue Reading

Mamuli by Sarah Corbett

Mamuli by Sarah Corbett

  The Mamuli hails from the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia, and is considered to be the most important of their golden ritual gift items. Originally worn by women and also sometimes by men in artificially elongated ear lobes. Mamuli are a fertility amulet and a part of the exchange of gifts prior to… Continue Reading

The Fibula. By Sarah Corbett

The Fibula. By Sarah Corbett

  The fibula is an ancient form of brooch which is not only decorative, but also has a practical purpose as a fastener for clothing. The first fibula is seen in the late Bronze age. The style is known as the ‘Violin Bow Fibula’ and is the first recorded replacement for the straight pins which… Continue Reading

Bead Work from Oceania

Bead Work from Oceania

  AN EXAMPLE OF BEAD WORK FROM OCEANIA (C. 1920). BY TRUUS DAALDER When my husband Joost and I had reached the cut-off point for including items in my book Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment (Ethnic Art Press and Macmillan, 2009: see link www.ethnicartpress.com.au), our collecting habits did not change, and they still have not. Our… Continue Reading