Travel Oman: Showcasing traditional Omani jewellery
What better way to remember Oman than a fine piece of jewellery that represents craftsmanship refined and handed down from father to son over the generations? Omani metalsmiths and jewellers often specialised in the crafting of silver jewellery, characterised by skill and workmanship of the highest quality. Often inlaid with precious stones and featuring intricate design work, these pieces were prized and widely admired for their quality, during a time when technology still hadn’t caught up with the art of fine jewellery making. According to the Ministry of Tourism, “The silver industry occupies a key place in the history of Oman. Omani silver jewellery is characterised by a rich sense of the aesthetic and reflects the unique taste of the country’s authentic art, deeply rooted in its history. Silver in Omani society is reflective of its rich social and religious symbols.
The Omani dress, whether that of women or men, is never complete without silver jewellery that adds to its beauty, especially apparent in the Omani khanjar. “Oman is among the leading countries that support craft industries,” added the ministry. “The government has attached great importance to this industry because it reflects a social culture and one of the most important legacies inspired by the Omani environment.” “The Omani craft Industries represent a rich heritage that dominates all walks of life in Oman,” said the Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI), the organisation that regulates handicraft work in the country.
“They are among the most important pillars of Omani heritage, inspired by nature and represent an aspect of the cultural and social life that reflects the characteristics of the Omani identity. Besides, these industries form an important source of income and help economic prosperity in rural areas. Silverware industries are among the most important and widespread metalwork businesses in Oman. These industries are mastered by Omanis who have inherited them generation after generation. The Omani craftsman fashions and shapes silver in an artistic and accurate way. To do this, silver sheets are heated and hammered to shape. Hot tar and wax are used to soften the silver, which is cut into pieces and shaped. Some items are inlaid and ornamented with decorative inscriptions and the finished products are smoothed and polished.