Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tekke jewellery from Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

The Tekke are a tribe of southern Turkmanistan and northern Afghanistan. Their jewellery is characterised by symmetrical design with the contrast between gold and silver. A thin layer of gold is applied to the pendants and bracelets by heating a mixture of gold and quicksilver which evaporates fast. Tekke goldsmithes prefer to adorn jewellery with the semiprecious carnelian.

The pendant in heart shape is called asik. Some asiks can be worn on back as a protection against evil spirits. The biggest asik pendants can weigh up 1 kilogram.

The pendant called gondschuk is worn on the breast.

The Tekke from northern Afghanistan like heavy bracelets which are easy to cash in emergency case.

Double-walled bracelets are with 3 rows of oval carnelians are called bilezik.
Jewellery had a protecting function as a talisman and helped gain prestige by Tekke commmunity. Silver and gold was always attractive investment for nomadic people. The Tekke jewellery have become prized among collectors due their artistic value.

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