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Turkmen Jewelry from the Collection of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf

October 9, 2012–February 24, 2013

Cordiform Ornaments

Turkmen women wore impressively large cordiform, or heart-shaped, ornaments as functional dorsal jewelry, decorating the upper back when attached to braids; and as pectoral jewelry, probably originally attached to a cylindrical amulet holder. Braids also were adorned with long plait ornaments. Similarly, temple ornaments were suspended from women’s caps or the crowns of their heads. Most of these dangling ornaments had chains with bells that jingled when the wearer moved, an aspect of Turkmen life that caught the attention of European travelers. Amulet holders, made singly or in pairs, consisted of horizontal cylinders or rectangles that, when opened, could hold prayers or Qur'anic verses written on paper.

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