Jewelry Making

Jewelry Making is one of the ancient applied art and form of traditional craft of the Tajik people. According to archaeological data the earliest samples of jewelry belongs to the middle Bronze Age period. Of course the jewelry items id addition to being a piece of adornment have also been perceived to carry cosmological powers and protect the one who worn them.

Artistic forms and shapes of the pre-Islamic jewelry among Tajiks were inspired by the natural world and consisted of animal, bird and vegetal designs. The distinctive feature of the Tajik jewelry in Islamic period abounds with the natural, geometric and imaginative designs, including elements of Arabic calligraphy.

There are multiple ways and methods of jewelry making used in making jewelry items such as cast, engraving, gold plating and stamping. The act of separating gold from other metal like silver is known as «ganjbandi». Depending on the methods and type of metal chosen where gold or silver or by cast or appliqué, masters would proceed in making the jewelry items requested from them. The principal type of metal used in jewelry making was alloy containing silver and gold, which was called «tilloi jurghoti (yogurt gold)» consisting of 4/5 silver and 1/5 pure gold.

Should be noted depending on the type of item jewelers would use a wide array of alloy and precious and semi-precious metal, including wide range of precious and semi-precious stones for adorning the jewelry items.

Most common jewelry items used by Tajik women such as ring, ear ring, diadems, bracelets, armlets and other specific forms of complex jewelries are still current and used.

Tajik jewelers in their craft widely use beads made also from precious or semi-precious metal, which are called zaghirak or gavarsa.

Different jewelry items would had specific names; for example these are names of earrings «Muhamadi», which is made in style of masters from Bukhara, «segusha», which could be made from both silver and gold and had hanging parts which were adorned by corals; «zirak ear ring» which usually made of silver and «sarigush», «qubador», «qafasi» that are made from silver as well.

Rings were made usually of silver and were adorned by various semiprecious stones.

Bracelets were also made of silver and had varieties, some of which were adorned with stones. For example bracelets called «donador» or «gandumak» was a type of bracelet, which had special safety pin to lock it. The safety pin used for locking the bracelet in arm had a chain that often was decorated by coral or other stones.

In addition, there are types of jewelries such as «tumor» special cylinder form jewelry used to keep amulets inside or «peshovez» large rosette form pendants which were decorated by engraving or appliqué.


By Dilshod Rahimi

Tajik ICH expert