'Bilezek' Cuff (#2) - Tekke people, Turkmenistan (Central Asia)
Title: 'Bilezek' Cuff
Material: Tribal silver, gilding and carnelian
Country:Turkmenistan, Central Asia (CGM2)
Description: Women in the nomadic communities of what is
today Turkmenistan, often wore heavy, conspicuous jewelry.
Worn as part of the bridal dowry, the cuffs were always
worn in pairs. The bracelets were tapered so that they
fit the contours of the wrists. The red carnelian (sometimes
glass) was believed to protect the wearer against miscarriage
and disease. Red was associated with happiness & fertility.
The bracelets, open on one side are edged with serrated,
triangular elements known as ‘snake heads’ meant to symbolize
life and give the wearer further talismanic protection. The fire
gilding is characteristic of Tekke jewelry. The process involved
the application of a mixture of mercury and gold to the surface
of the silver. Heating caused the mercury to evaporate leaving
a gold layer fixed to the surface.
Dimensions: 3" height x 3" width x 1/2" depth x 5 1/2" inner circumference