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Tribal Trinkets: A Tale about the Art that Blends Tradition with Trend

Tribal Trinkets: A Tale about the Art that Blends Tradition with Trend

Authentic, charming and funky are some of the adjectives that define tribal jewelry. From necklaces inspired by Turkish tribal art to earrings designed in Kuchi style, tribal inspired jewelry is in vogue in fashion circuits.

The Afghani Appeal

Exotic Afghan jewelry is an important part of the traditional Afghan dress called Gandi Afghani. The fascinating history of Afghan jewelry dates back to thousands of years and reflects the rich culture of the Kuchis in Afghanistan.  Kuchis are Afghan Pashtun nomads that wandered the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their journeys were season-specific. They migrated away from their mountainous settlements during winter and came back in the summers. The word Kuchi stems from a Pashtun word meaning migration and symbolizes a special state of existence rather than any particular group of people.

Afghan jewelry embodies the spirit of ancient Kuchi gypsies. They radiate creative mastery and colorful exuberance. These jewelry pieces ornamented the bodies of tribal women during traditional celebrations like weddings and childbirth. The vibrant jewelry style reflects the free spirits of nomads and the numerous cultures that they visited while travelling. They were crafted to withstand wear and tear from the harsh weather conditions in the Afghan region. This justifies the use of sturdy metals and bold designs in the creation of Afghani jewelry.

Afghan jewelry art is characterized by the use of oxidized metal, ghungroos, coins and colorful glass jewels. The music of the jingling ghungroos and the vibrancy of the motifs have their roots in the color and melodies of the various tribal festivities.  

Afghan jewelry portrays intricate designs handcrafted by metal artisans. Sometimes the jewelry incorporates beaded embroidery. The more expensive and delicate pieces feature the use of Lapis Lazuli- a semi-precious stone that has been used for centuries in jewelry making. Deep blue in color like the night sky, it has been associated with royalty and symbolizes endless possibilities. These expensive jewelry pieces are made using good quality silver. They are worn by brides in traditional marriages

Even today, Afghan women adorn their heads, necks, arms and ankles in beautiful and chunky Afghan jewelry. This jewelry art has evolved through the decades of war in this region. Jewelry artists were displaced from their native land and lost access to traditional materials and tools. Modern Afghan jewelry uses metals alloys like German silver and is ruggedly hewn. Nevertheless, the traditional tribal designs don’t fail to manifest themselves.

Jewelry Pieces are designed using glass, enamel, old coins, plastic and stone beadings. They depict hand painted motifs in bright enamel colors- it gives the impression of a color-stained glass painting. The rainbow-hued motifs are set in with beeswax and foil to produce the effect of shining mirrors. Beautiful floral designs and crescent moons which express spiritual energy are typical to Afghan jewelry. The chunky and funky Afghani jewelry pieces have become a fashion craze for the contemporary culture.

Tribal Charms of Turkey

Tribal Turkish-style jewelry is handcrafted by indigenous jewelry artists. No two pieces of jewelry are identical in shape and design. In fact a pair of earnings is also not perfectly symmetrical. Each piece of jewelry reflects unique cultural meaning. Tribal jewelry artists chose materials based on availability and traditional significance.

Turkey is a land that has been the bridge between eastern and western traditions. The tribal jewelry originating in this Ottoman Empire blends eastern and western fashion. They are crafted using hefty oxidized metal pieces and regal designs. These jewelry pieces are contemporary yet they embody the tribal spirit. They don’t just look beautiful. They clang and jangle beautifully with every movement of the wearer.

The metal detailing is elaborate and crafted using painstaking techniques which cannot be replicated by modern machines. The detailing consists of carefully incised patterns and embossed designs. Twisted and coiled silver wires are very popular.

The large size of Turkish jewelry is symbolic of the armor worn by Turk-women who fought alongside men in battles. In the Turkish society women are valued as life-giving forces. The teeming fringes on the jewelry signify rain water- a life force that is quintessentially feminine. Traditional Turkish women adore their bodies with abundant fringed jewelry.

Turkish tribal jewelry art employs a variety of shapes and designs. Round and triangular shapes represent feminine forces whereas square and rectangular designs symbolize masculine forces.

The fusion of traditional and contemporary elements in tribal jewelry perfectly identifies with the free and dynamic spirit of contemporary women. If you are a fashionista on the lookout for statement-making handcrafted tribal jewelry online, then Myroots.desi is your fashion destination. Here everything is handcrafted with passion!