Friday, May 20, 2011

Bracelets for the Bride

The Yemeni bride, if prosperous enough to own or to borrow bracelets, would have matching bracelets on both arms, arranged symmetrically from wrist to elbow.  You will find that some bracelets from Yemen will be very small in diameter.  Moreover, they are usually completely round, not really shaped for the human wrist.  They usually are fastened around the wrist by a hand-threaded screw or by a pin.  Some styles do not enclose the wrist but clamp lightly onto the wrist.

Child-size by American standards, but weighty in 
decorative elements all the way round the 

This very ornamental wedding bracelet has a twin that would be worn for the two most important ceremonies in a woman's life: her wedding and after each time she gave birth.  She would sit in bed surrounded with flowers and adorned in wedding finery while she received visitors during the celebration of each new birth.  

Apart from the important events that are marked by wearing this bracelet, it bears a second cultural significance.  The silversmith who made it signed it with his maker's mark on the most visible component of each of the matching bracelets: the roseate fastener.  For a better view of the signature, go to
click on the View Photos in the right column; you will get a screen showing the album of photos used for this blog.  Click to open the album and scroll to find this image.  Click to enlarge and you can see the Yemen Jewish silversmith's signature written in Arabic script.

We will be noting the signatures on the Yemeni jewelry now that you know to expect them.

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