Sunday, February 25, 2024

Turkish-Afghan inspired jewelry has taken Pakistan by storm

Since the broadcasting of the globally acclaimed Turkish drama Diliris Ertugral or Ressurection Ertugral, in Pakistan, there has been observed an uproarious response to the lifestyle theme exhibited in the show. The characters are seen clad in era appropriate attire, buckled with metal swords and heavy costumes. The women are shown wearing heavy jewelry with special gemstones engraved and colorful frocks with beautiful handiwork as well as intricate stitching. But the jewelry and costumes is just not only limited to the show. It has taken our fashion industry by storm. It is quite important to note that Afghan handmade jewelry was already quite trendy in Pakistan but the drama itself acted as a catalyst. It created a frenzy and suddenly every designer, every small scale industry became obsessed with Afghan/Turkish inspired fashion trends. The talented Esra Bilgic aka Halime Sultan as well as other Turkish actors further went on to collaborate with several of Pakistani brands and this was our latest way of paying ode to the show.


Turkish Gold Jewelry in Istanbul

Although this trend is not new and mostly unfurled after the show “Mera Sultan” and other such historic soaps, however Diliris Ertugral fanned this trend to a great extent and it spread like wildfire. Every major Pakistani clothing brand hopped up on the train of collaborating with Turkish actors and the campaigns became successful overnight. Girls are seen flaunting decorative head bands made of silver with intricate designs etched along the entire band, having several colored beads also attached to them. The most interesting aspect of this is that the jewelry designs depicted in the historic soaps are on high demand, and women wanting those exact same designs has caused a surge in replication of those exact same designs. The show portrayed women of the 13th century clad in heavy silver head bands, necklaces, and ornate rings made of gemstones, detailed tribal earrings and beautifully carved sets matching statement pieces.

Turkish/Afghan jewelry is quite distinct with respect to their designs than other jewelry styles. It is quite significant to note that Turkish or Afghan jewelry has a specific combination. It possesses silver as well as gemstone work. The precious stones that are applied to the jewelry were later on extended to several other objects of important use such as utensils, swords etc. But the jewelry style is enriched with this form of immaculate craftsmanship. Turkish jewelry is significantly different than European jewelry. Although Turkey is partly located in Europe, but it’s distinct style has remained intact. Unlike European jewelry, several metals are combined in order to develop a single piece. This is highly distinctive than that of European style in which a single material is repeated and over lined. Another fascinating fact about Turkish jewelry is that the instead of cutting gemstones to a perfect shape, their original form is enhanced as to give it a more natural look. This augments the shape of the jewel piece and this is what makes Turkish jewelry quite unique.

Afghan jewelry should not be confused with Turkish, as it has its own quite exclusive features. Although it shares same ethnic roots with Turkish jewelry, and both of them have had strong historic influences. This fact can further shed light as to how Muslim culture is widespread and is not a product of recent times but has been around for centuries and points at how diverse and astounding it is.

Afghan jewelry and traditional clothing originated from the Kuchi Tribe, and this tribe migrated towards Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan etc. This jewelry is also known as nomadic jewelry. This jewelry although similar to Turkish jewelry in many ways, still manages to be distinct and unique as well. Afghan Kuchi jewelry is like no other. It can be comprised of coins, metals, precious and semi-precious stones, special beads, the stones are recovered from mountains as Afghanistan is typically a mountainous country. The use of precious, semi-precious stones determines whether the jewelry piece is to be worn on casual basis or for special occasions only. Afghans also make use of locally resourced materials, such as clay, nuts etc.

Afghan/Turkish jewelry is quite trendy and the only reasons I could come up with after a lot of intensive reasoning, is that we see a revival in mainstream media of our combined traditional culture. A piece of traditional jewelry tells a story of how the amalgamation, influence, mixture of our religion and culture came to be.  Each design curated with care, goes to show that our history is rich and the people that birthed it possessed a far sightedness that cannot be found today among us. This jewelry is not just jewelry, it is a representation of who we are and what our ancestors were like. It gives hope and it binds us together in a cultural weave that has all these significant influences individually but when put together, the picture no longer stays blurry but is a magnificent work of art and shows how our traditions have created a beautiful pattern that can be seen deeply embedded in this region.

Art like this brings people together. It ends up developing a community that can also relate to other ethnically diverse communities but possessing same historic religious background. Dramas such as Diliris Ertugrul and Magnificent Century represent a collective sentiment and brings people to celebrate the history our ancestors created. These kinds of initiatives and tools work in a very positive way to bring about unity and strength. Yes, strength, as the depictions of these shows keep the flame alive of our struggle. Of how the repressed Kashmiris struggle against Indian oppression or any Muslims resisting oppression elsewhere in the world. Therefore a jewelry item belonging to Afghan/Turkish roots must not be considered insignificant. Because these are not just jewelry items, they hold value and connect us on a personal level and on a communal level. Because the need of the hour for the Muslims of the world is to unite and come together. To promote our strong front towards the world that we are not going to falter.

It is not only jewelry, but other items as well that also shed light on so many important factors. Other things of significance is art and clothing as well. Both of these things have seen a boost and will continue to do so in the near future. It is up to us to promote this unity, learn from our ancestors and move forward with grace as well as dignity. We should keep buying and distributing these jewelry pieces in the world, exporting them to the west in order to promote our raging culture.


Traditional Turkish Jewelry

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Category: Lifestyle

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