Other than designer clothing, Turkish people also pride themselves on their intricate jewelry. Necklaces, earrings, and rings are Anatolian women's way of expressing themselves and conveying their values and aspirations.
The wearing of Anatolian jewelry is a long-standing custom that dates back to antiquity. Anatolia, the cradle of civilizations, is home to a wide array of jewelry that reflects the beliefs of those who lived there in the past.
Anatolia has used jewelry since the Neolithic period (8000-5500 B.C.) This practice may be traced back to ancient societies, including the Hittite, Assyrian, Urartu, Lydian, and Phrygian, whose descriptions and archaeological finds follow this pattern.
This article will give you a quick run-through of the deep culture embedded in Turkish jewelry.
Jewelry and Its Correlation with the Dead
Metal jewelry, particularly gold and silver, has been discovered in the tombs of ancient cultures where it was usual to bury the deceased with their belongings. Jewelry for ladies is one of the most diverse groups in all of them.
Jewelry and Its Religious Motifs
At the peak of Anatolia, important hubs of jewelry manufacturing were developed in the area. This is where jewelry of exceptional craftsmanship, particularly gold jewelry, was made.
It was common to find jewelry with religious motifs during later excavations. This jewelry was believed to be worn for protection from spells, malice, and the evil eye, among other things.
Silver Jewelry Indicating Social Status
Traditional Anatolians are more likely to wear silver jewelry. Women, in particular, have relied on this type of jewelry for millennia, wearing it from conception to death and even passing it down from mother to daughter.
From birth to death, jewelry plays a significant role in social interactions. Traditional jewelry conveys a variety of meanings to those around the wearer.
With her jewels on display from head to toe, a woman's rank in society was conveyed by the ornamentation she displayed on her body. You can tell if a young woman is engaged or just married by the jewelry she wears on her wrist.
Special Occasions Associated with Jewelry Gifts
Various occasions call for symbolic jewelry gifts such as:
When a baby is born, their relatives, friends, and acquaintances gift metal jewelry as congratulations
When a child is being circumcised, gifts of jewels are presented to him.
A future bride will receive jewelry of all types at her engagement party.
A bride will also have jewelry pinned on her during her wedding ceremony.
A husband of a new mother will also buy her jewelry as a gift.
Beliefs Embedded in Jewelry
Traditional jewelry represents culture, a symbolic manifestation of the incorporation of belief systems into life. Some sacred beliefs related to jewelry include:
Women who want to become pregnant may choose to wear a ring to help them have a baby.
As good luck charms, amulets are traditionally worn around the neck.
Women who labor in the fields or vineyards are said to be protected from snakes and scorpions by wearing silver jewelry that jangles as they move and sway.
Other than looking intricate and luxurious, jewelry reflects the folklore and practices of Anatolia. Anatolians have been wearing jewelry from time immemorial. The jewelry tells a tale about the culture, beliefs, and traditions of Anatolia; it is a masterpiece that also carries some religious significance.
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