The symbolism of Turkmen jewelry
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The Symbolism of Turkmen Jewelry

Turkmen jewelry bears rich symbolism, the origins of which can be traced back to antiquity. The visual images depicted in these works of art not only decorate but also serve as a unique reflection of the history of the Turkmen people.

When Islam came in the 6th century, its prohibition of depicting living creatures throughout Central Asia was a major influence. Turkmen’s jewelry art was no exception. Turkmen rejected the images of some of the most worshipped animals. Instead of a ram, the most revered symbol of nomadic life, Turkmen jewelers began to depict a ram’s horn.

However, animal themes remained in Turkmen art, which is unusual for Islam. Some researchers believe that the images of animals symbolically replaced the pagan images of people. For instance, the mother was implied in the depiction of a camel. This sacred animal in Turkmen culture has always represented endurance, joy, and tolerance.

Animals that are still used in Turkmen jewelry include:
Wolf. One of the main symbols represents the god of the sky and the sun. The wolf is a powerful, formidable, and at the same time revered animal, portraying masculinity and power.

Bird. As a symbol of ascension, the bird serves as a sign of freedom and overcoming obstacles. Turkmens have a special interest in predatory birds and admired their power and glory.

Fish. The image of the fish is associated with fertility and pregnancy, becoming a symbol of vitality.

Snake. Undergoing a kind of “rebirth” through a change of skin, represents renewed youth, the cycle of life, and immortality.

In addition to animal themes, Turkmen jewelry makes wide use of plant and abstract motifs, typical of the Islamic culture zone.

Vincent Otieno

Vincent Otieno is a passionate jewelry enthusiast and writer at Getnamenecklace, an e-commerce store dedicated to offering exquisite jewelry and thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. With a keen eye for detail and a deep appreciation for the art of gift-giving, Vincent curates a collection that celebrates the beauty of craftsmanship and the joy of making family moments unforgettable.

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