Jewelry in the Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions

The exhibit in the Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions (set up by the artist Ali Jabri in 1971; you can find it inside the Roman Theatre) has fine examples of Jordan’s wealth of silver jewelry. Showcasing Bedouin, Circassian, Druze, Palestinian designs, all with similar attention to fine detail, each in their own original way. The diversity of jewelry styles are a testament to Jordan’s place as a crossroad for different tribes and traders. Rosettes are intertwined crescents chained to Ottoman coins, geometric patterns delicately etched into all remaining space. There are many more silver than gold pieces in the museum, though today it is gold shops which are abundant in Middle Eastern cities. Scholars have  indeed documented a shift from silver to gold in the 60s in  Syria. 







and my favorite: these Druze headpieces. Druze women reportedly still wear them in the villages of the Hauran. 


Jabri’s handwriting


I tried finding out some information about the Qurs. It seems to be described quite differently in other contexts though: an open ring, rather than closed head piece.

According to the Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Architecture, the headpiece was elite-wear in Egypt:

In 19th century Egypt upper-class women wore a composite turban (rabt.a) consisting of one or more printed cloths wound around a skullcap or tarboosh; a jeweled crown piece (qurs.) was frequently placed on top of it. Women of the lower classes, on the other hand, wore a simple kerchief (‘

The Ottoman ‘Tepelik‘ is defined as ‘a piece of openwork metal sewed to a fez, and ornamented with gold and silver embroidery and pearls’, but also as ‘bowl-shaped disc on woman’s head from which decorated chains hang down’: there are two kinds.. One is in the museum in MarasGaziantepe, and Urfa, and is perhaps an eastern Turkish/Armenian phenomenon. The late Ottoman Turkish version: ‘From it hang gold medallions. Partially covering the tepelik is a scarf. This is in fact the dress of a newly-married woman.’ It is also found in Bosnia under this same name.

The Bedouin variety of this headdress is the most colorful:


to finish on a colorful note:

خرز ازرق: blue beads

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