Vintage Turkman cuff with onyx.
Afghan Tribal Arts has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the 1980’s. The focus is on vintage textiles and tribal jewelry as well as new gemstone beads made for jewelry designers. Clicking on the Shop on Etsy button will take you to our shop there where you can see what is currently in stock.
Turkmen women wear a lot of silver jewelry. Loads of it. The older pieces are heavy and thick. This one is thin enough to be shaped to almost any wrist size.
A thick sheet of silver forms the base of the cuff. Border and central layers have been added on to create dimension and add thickness. The design was etched in, hammered with a flat tipped tool. Gold wash created the yellow contrasted areas. The stones are polished black onyx.
The last image shows a Turkman woman decked out in traditional reds and jewelry. You can see she is wearing cuffs on both wrists. Check out our silver jewelry section in our shop on Etsy for more tribal jewelry and our website has a nice article with more info on the Turkmen, images of other pieces we have carried and a video of a traditional Turkmen dance performance.
Estimated age: 1980’s.
Dimensions: 1.5 ” wide (3.6 cm)
Materials Used: sterling silver, black onyx, gold
Free shipping worldwide on this piece.
The following text is from www.turkmens.com, a website where you can find a lot of information on both current and past information on Turkmen culture. The two photos of women are from this site as well. Visit it to learn more about this ancient culture!
“Turkmen jewels, which constitute a delicate art full of secrets and with a very long past, are also one of the most important elements of Turkmen culture, works of gold and silver produced by the Turkmen jewellers of the past have reached the present day as a masterpiece each. The manner in which precious stones were placed on them, their geometric shapes and the forms given to them cause feelings of amazement and admiration in those who look at them.
The originality of Turkmen handicrafts is a distinct feature of Turkmen culture that sets it apart from the cultures of other nations. The products of the Turkmen art of jewel-making not only embellish women but also convey various magical meanings which are believed to protect people who wear those jewels from the evil eye and from diseases. Although they did not know the properties of the stones they worked, the Turkmen jewel-making artists of the past believed that these stones had a beneficial impact on human health. They told the magical power of their products to those who bought them and ensured that they, too, believed in it, giving them strength, joy and hope. For this reason, jewels for Turkmen women have always been a source of moral strength.
Turkmen masters have not forgotten their art during the years that have passed; on the contrary, they have developed it a little bit more every day and have trained students who have surpassed them. Old masters, spending great labour together with their students, have produced more beautiful works every day patiently. For this reason, the works of Turkmen masters are fascinating and attractive to people today. Turkmen jewels remind one of the Iran outfits of past warriors. The silver “Cuppa” which is shaped like a dome, the “Chekkelik” with its silver hangers running down to the cheeks, and the “Yeginlik” with a hanger on the back of the neck, remind one of a military headwear. The broad chest ornaments “Gulyaka”, “Dagdan” and “Bukuv” with their silver “Apbases” are reminiscent of the chest armours of soldiers.
The examples cited suggest that the female warriors referred to in ancient works may have lived in Turkmen territories. It has always been said that Turkmen woman helped his man in his fight with enemies. On this basis, it seems possible to accept the truth of the idea of the female warriors. Turkmen silver masters produced various ornaments for children and horses as well as for women. They made knives, knife-handles and cases, wallets and bags. In addition to the jewel-making art, the carpets and rugs decorating the tents were also produced by Turkmen masters. The harmony of a woman’s jewels with the patterns on her dress was an expression of the master’s art.
In Turkmen society, woman has a special place, woman has always been treated with respect. The great Turkmen thinker and poet Mahdumkuli wrote praisingly about the beauty of woman. The unbelievable beauty of Turkmen woman in her national dress, who is able to bring her clothes into a lyrical harmony with all kinds of ornament, reflects the magical wholeness of the Turkmen art of dress and jewelry. The cuts of traditional Turkmen garments are a reflection of the way of life and the climatic conditions in Turkmenistan.
Embroidery has an important place in these garments. The national dresses of women are ornamented with embroidery as well as decorations. Men’s clothes, too, have embroidery but are more simple. Embroidery exists not only on clothes but also on table-cloths, handkerchiefs, bags, saddles, “dutar” cases, etc. The reasons for the emergence of these motifs of embroidery were certain religious beliefs, for example the need to be protected from evil spirits. Turkmen national dresses for women and children are always embellished with ornate and precious stones and beads.
Decoration is not confined to clothes: such articles as the handles of swords and daggers, and whips, are also decorated with precious stones. In the past, decorations had a special meaning. They signified the age, family, tribe and social status of those who used them. These ornaments and jewels displayed differences from tribe to tribe in the course of time. Whether a woman was married or not and what tribe she belonged to could be told from her dress and ornaments. There are efforts today to protect and maintain this tradition.”
Afghanistan has been at the heart of the crossroads for the Silk Road for centuries. Nomads and generations of ethnic groups have thrived on trade and beautiful handicraft skills. Textiles, embroidery and carpet weaving continue to represent a plethora of skills that extend on into metal work, wood work, and ceramics. Designs reflect both the beauty of nature and life of spirit in choice of colors and fluidity of the design. Recommended reading: “Traditional Textiles of Central Asia” by Janet Harvey, a wonderful illustrated book on textiles from Afghanistan and the region.
Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with Afghan artists for more than 20 years. Handcarved semi-precious beads are the core focus of the business, but we also have a huge inventory of old and new textiles, carvings and metal work. Abdul Wardak, owner, travels a bead show route between Wisconsin and Florida. Wholesale inquiries are welcome.
Visit our shop on Etsy and check our shop here on Artizan Made as we will have different items on both shops. We combine shipping on purchases between both shops. Free shipping on all purchases over $100 in the US.
We are proud members of TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.
Afghan Tribal Arts
Abdul Wardak of Afghan Tribal Arts Abdul Wardak has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the early 1980's. Beads carved from semi-precious stones are the core of the business, but Afghan Tribal Arts also has an extensive collection of tribal jewelry, textiles, carpets, and vintage functional crafts.