Antique Omani silver earrings Rare complete piece of Omani jewelry.

Antique Omani silver Nisa earrings Rare complete piece of Omani jewelry
  • Description

Very Rare complete set of antique Nisa earrings. These ear-rings consist of a long tapering tube with thin silver wire coiled around it.  This example consists of  two bundles of medium size Dufuf earrings with a total of 10 earrings. Complete set with original support-strap made of rope and in fine quality.   Without the support strap the ears could not cope with the heavy weight. The loops may still be hooked through the ear. They were owned by the wealthiest of women. C.S.D Cole wrote in 1847: "The women who do not cover their faces  and are not at all good looking, generally wear a profusion of silver ornaments , - the ears in particular, which are perforated in numerous places , being completely studded with large rings: the weight  is supported by a cord passed through through the whole and tied over the head.He is probably referring to the Dufuf / Nisa earrings.  Weight 550 grams

Antique Omani silver earrings

Arab names: Dufuf / Nisa (the ear-ring support strap is called Mishil)

Period: 1800-1900 

Origin: Oman: Bedouin Women of the hadr (town) part of the tribe

 

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 75-p 77  bottom; p 164
  2. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 131
  3. An account of an overland journey from Leskairee to Meskat  and the Green mountains of Oman Trans. Bombay Geographical Society Vol VIII 1847
  4. Wellsted Travels in Arabia 1838 London John Murray
  5. Islamic Art in Oman page 336 Pict 2
  6. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 40 and 41  fig 3.9 and 3.10 has photo with a similar item.
  7. Richard Francis Burton's description of Arab  women in his book  Zanzibar: City, Island and Coast London 1872 p114-115  was far from flattering "The half caste Zanzibar girl enviously eyes the Arab woman, a heap of unwashed cottons on invisible feet, with the Masqat masque  exposing only her unrecognizable eyeballs. The former wears a single piece of red silk or chequered cotton. Her frizzly hair is twisted into pigtails; her eyelids are stained black; her eyebrows are lengthened with paint; her ear-rims are riddled with a dozen holes to admit rings, wooden buttons or metal studs, whilst the slit lobes, distended by elastic twists of coloured palm-leaf  whose continual expansion prodigiously enlarges the aperture, are fitted with a painted disk, an inch and a half in diameter. If pretty, and therefore wealthy, she wears heavy silver earrings run through the shell of the ear; her thumbs have similar decorations and massive bangles of white metal adorn, like manacles and fetters, her wrists and ancles. One wing of her nose is bored  to admit a stud- even the patches of Europe were not more barbarous. "

 

Below you UAE Youtube film discussing a similar set of Omani silver earrings: