HvWO 076

Antique Omani silver belt for the Zar ceremony (small size)


Very rare Omani silver belt. A woman sometimes acquired certain pieces of silver jewelry because of Spirit possession. This very finely made silver belt is used for the Zar ceremony to wear off the devil / djinns. The chain is made of finely braided silver, like a Mishal (see earrings section) Based on lock and pin principle. The lock with a very fine detailed design. The purpose of the Zar ceremony is to exorcise evil spirits. Compare the Black Masses, held in the past, in Christianity. For a description of the Zar process see the beginning of the amulets section. The communal Zar ceremony was conducted by a trained master who performed rituals using incantations, drums, singing, fire, blood and frankincense in order to exorcise evil spirits (Jinns) that possessed the patient causing her illness.

Antique Omani silver belt

Arab names:

Zar (plural of Zar is Zeeran) According to Zwemer the word Zar means " A (sinister) visitor (zara yezuru) who makes his or her abode and so possess the victim"

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond  Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 144-145 210-216
  2. Richardson & Dorr The Craft heritage of Oman Volume 2 page 3 20:323; 448 item 078
  3. Influence of Animism on Islam an account of popular superstitions 1920 by S.M. Zwemer (has worked in the Gulf and Oman) p 227 -  p 244 discusses the Zar: exorcism of demons
  4. Indigo in the Arab world by Jenny Balfour Paul ISBN-13 978-1904982159