Let's begin our discussion of Turkoman jewelry by looking at a piece that carries so much obvious symbolism that it can be called an important expression of the totem or amuletic properties in the jewelry of that tribe's culture.
Messrs. Schletzer write in the work noted above that "The two main features of Turkoman mythological consciousness until well into the 19th century were an undifferentiated, sacral belief in passive nature gods and the ancestor cult. "
The floral and ram's horns motifs on the piece in the photo reflect that spirituality, especially fitting for a container for prayers - an amulet.
The diagonal cross that divides the ram's horns on this piece is also a powerful symbol used over and over again in their jewelry as an expression of the seasonal cycle and mankind's life cycle.
The Western Yomud tribe had some gifted silversmiths and we will discuss the craft later, but for the moment, we will be discussing the symbolism and providing examples.
For more information on this particular piece, see
CraftsofthePast at Artfire.com