Design Symbolic object

Slide-Show: Key to paradise
  • Description

                        

Omani antique silver amulet designed as a key

                     Omani antique silver amulet designed as a key

 In the slide-show (top left) you find examples of:

a) Key (to paradise)

b) Fire striker

c) Gun cartridge / bullet

The fire-striker and gun cartridge (Kohl-pot) are in the shape of arms because man are not supposed to wear jewellery, however they are allowed to wear arms. Consequently arms of Arab men have also become jewellery substitutes.

Subject:  Symbolic object design

Period: Until recently

Origin: Used all over Oman. We find also young Swahili ladies of Zanzibar and East Africa wearing these keys on photos of the 19th century!

References:
  1. Craft heritage of Oman
  2. Athman H. Athman stules of Swahili carving page 47 1996 11-29
  3. Ruth Hawley Omani Silver, Longman, London
  4. For the large wooden amulets from Zanzibar see the Afrika museum in Berg and Dal Netherlands