Large and heavy Omani antique silver anklet
Women are allowed to wear jewelry (unlike men) with a preference for silver. The Koran does not explicitly state golden jewelry is forbidden. However in the description of the paradise inhabitants (Soera 76 vers 21) silver jewelry is worn rather than gold " In the first detailed description of Oman named "Travels in Arabia" volume 1 by Wellsted 1838 it is clear that the rich women wear golden jewelry while the majority of women wear large quantities of silver jewelry. In 1828 Jews were forcibly driven out of Baghdad (see Wellsted page 21) by the cruel Pacha Daud. A group of these Jewish fugitives came to Muscat and many of these were involved in the making of silver ornaments. In this period Oman was very tolerant to the Jews (and people of other religions as well) and they did not have to live in a secluded part of town neither did they have to wear a batch indicating they were a Jew like was done in Syria and Egypt in the 1820´s.
Very old Omani silver anklets
Anklets were commonly worn in the North of Oman by married women. This is confirmed by photos / postcards taken in Muscat from around 1890-1920 in our "Oman Photos" section, showing Arab ladies wearing "Nizwa anklets" We also see the Omani princess Bibi Salme who lived in Zanzibar (and later in Germany) on a photo dated before 1886 wearing "Nizwa anklets" that she took with her during her escape from Zanzibar in the 1860´s. The provenance of our above silver anklet is Zanzibar / East Africa and was taken by Germans to Europe before World-war One. Anklets are not typically worn by the Bedouin of Oman. According to Avelyn Foster in the book Disappearing Treasures of Oman 1998 p 72-73 it was customary for anklets to be give to his daughter at puberty. A father would give anklets to his daughter. The girl would then wear them until her marriage when they formed part of her dowry.
The book "Handwerk und industrie in Ost Afrika Hamburg 1910" by Franz Stuhlmann
Includes the above photos of Omani Antal anklets
Youtube film: The best exhibition about Omani arts and crafts held outside Oman was held in Amsterdam in the Nieuwe Kerk 2009/2010: