19 August 2009

Trinkets from Oman Part II

Some time back I wrote about my Omani silver collection. You can find it here if you'd like to read that post. At the time, I promised more installments, but got waylaid with other stuff - as one does! Anyway, I'm finally catching up with myself, so here for your enjoyment (hopefully!) is part II.

These are Khol pots. Holders for that wonderful dark smudgy stuff that is traditionally used to accentuate the eyes. Omani women, men and children all wear it. The first photo shows a small decorative pot used by women; the second is a man's khol pot which would have been worn hanging from his belt. This photo shows the applicator stick in front of the pot.

This beautiful, heavy piece is a decorative hair ornament.

Earrings in this part of the world tend to be heavy. This is a pair of 'small' earrings - quite delicate in comparison to the next...

This is a much larger earring, making quite a statement with its red bead and two long dangles attached.

Whoa, is that an earring? Could be a bit weighty in the lobe .. No, fortunately it isn't! Looks like an earring, but it is actually part of a head dress. Several of these large rings would have dangled over the ears from a strap or chain running over the top of the head from side to side. Apparently this could weigh up to 2.5 kilos - pretty heavy and only worn by the wealthy !

Still on the large side for an earring, but my absolute favourite! This is a beautiful silver and gold piece from the Sur region.

Close up of the same piece showing the intricate embossing.

Two earring hoops

which might have been worn with these dangles.

Moving on from the silver, did you know that Frankinsence trees grow in Oman? This little box contains both amber coloured Frankincense(left) and the darker Myrhh (right). These resins are burned for their heady fragrance and antiseptic qualities.

Here's an intricate piece of Omani embroidery - teeny, tiny stitches! This is the top part of an Omani man's cap.

A couple of scanned photos of the interior of Oman where old villages cling to the craggy mountain sides. High, high up in the mountains in Wakan, where the air is fresh and cool, farmers tend terraces of fruit trees and vegetables and in the springtime when their almond trees blossom it's a magnificent sight.

And last, but very definitely not least, here's a pic of a favourite Omani Jebel Dog. If you read about our hols in Provence you will have seen Kas before. Very sadly though, dear Kas passed away this weekend in France where she had lived out her last years with our friends - her people - after they left Oman. She will be very much missed, but I like to believe that she will be continuing to bark loudly at vapour trails in the sky in her Doggie Valhalla.

I will be back with the third and final installment of this series very soon!


  1. oh my...i love this kind of art and silver jewelry...beautiful !
    they earrings weigh a bit but they're spectacular...
    you lucky !

  2. Beautiful and stunning, what a nice post with so much info!

  3. What beautiful treasures! I can imagine how it would feel to line your eyes with khol housed in such lovely containers...a trivial daily part of getting dressed would be elevated so!

  4. caroline, as much as i liked seeing the intricacies and designs of oman jewelry and culture, it was kas who captured my attention (and heart). what a lovely dog. i she is running, her tail wildly wagging, in the hills of heaven.

    thanks for visiting me, neighbor.

  5. I am so infatuated with your silver trinkets...simply lovely each one!


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