Uzbek Jewellery Decorations

Shell of kauri or feather of bird, tooth of killed beast or stone with hole; these were the decorations of human being who was wearing them with the aim to protect himself from adversity, from diseases. Bunches of camel and sheep wool, head and feather of owl were considered as defensive and protective forces. Sedentary nations of Central Asia worshiped pheasant, peacock and cock.

Magic exorcised character of decorations, which first of all protected, and therefore were integral element of human being suit, had led to the fact, that they were extremely distributed in the region.

Decorations can be represented in three groups:

  • Jewelry executing protective function
  • Decorations of good wish
  • Jewelry executing the function of success


    The first kind of decorations is put on immediately after birth. These are bracelets of black and white beads "kuzmunchok", where the word "kuz" eye, drive away "bad eye" from the baby. By this they drive away "bad eye" to other subject more bright and attractive. Thus, they hang on closes small amulets in the form of triangles. That triangular form is indued with sacral attribute, the initial sense of which is in the imagination about sun ray, female prolificacy, and also to the notion about vertical structure of the world.

    Distributed motive of rhombus, with which multiple pendants to decorations are hanged, is endued with the symbol of fertility and life good. Many images entering the d?cor of jewelry are related to the notions about the world, universe, about good and evil, images of birds and animals. The head of Karakalpak bride was decorated with traditional cap called "saukele". On the temples among big corals there were pair images of sheep heads, and that was symbolizing prolificacy, welfare and served as protector from adverse forces. Ear and nose holes were considered as rather attractive for evil spirits, and therefore they should have been protected. Thus the ears of the bride were decorated with ear-rings, especially were valuable once producing clang deterring evil spirits. There was also ring in the nose.

    Jewelry "mokhi tela", put on the body had been decorated with bird heads, and "tilo koz" decorating forehead reminded bird wing (though, in the translation it means "golden eyebrows"). Decoration "gazhak" on the temple was depicting bird. It was considered, that decoration in the form of bird would bring to woman welfare and happiness in family life.

    Very frequent one can meet images of birds in the works of Kokand jewelers.

    The images of fishes were referred to the number of light symbols connected with pure environments, and in particular with water. Image of fish, its fish-scale, tail had been distributed in the ornaments of Central Asian jewelry. Pendants in the form of fish to necklaces, forehead and temple decorations were carved from silver and golden foil. Ornament "fish tail" covered bracelets. In the Orient fish is considered as symbol of purity, besides the image of fish is accepted as symbol of multiple posterior, and also alertness and vigilance.

    The fish on the back of which sunflower or sun are depicted can be met in the unique private collection. From two sides of the fish two lions are depicted, and it was destined for decoration of breast as big medallion with the length of 21 cm.

    It, apparently, was tumor, the amulet protecting one or another part of a body. They are rather various and are called "buyin - tumor" or "neck amulet", "kukraktumor" or breast amulet, "kultiktumor" or underarm amulet. Prayers, hair of children, herbs were stored in them. These amulets should protect woman breast from losses of milk, and in order she should not get sick. And underarm tumor protects the part of a body from which, according ancient legends, the human being soul flies away after death.

    The initial appliance for shooting from bow is linked to rings and bracelets, in order that bowstring while extension should not strip away skin, it was protected by leather and then bronze rings. Then these rings from silver became so obligatory for woman, that without them she had no right to cook. Her hands were considered as "khorom" or "dirty".

    Seal rings of the men became the symbol of power, by them they put seals "tamtu". Seal rings with inserts from turquoise, garnet, cornelian, nephrite, beryl, jasper, blue spar had special sense due to the value of stones. Turquoise according legends brought success in military affairs, therefore they used to decorate with it all military ammunition. Coral protects from damage, pearl cures wall-eye, amber treats Derbyshire neck, cornelian protects from "bad eye".

    Decorations, as legends and fairy-tails brings to us the notion about our anticipants, about their perception and feeling of the world. The special world of images is included in them, the semantics of which is in the understanding of good, wish of the best. While decorating they protect from evil, dirty and bad.