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Metal: jewellery


The manufacture of jewellery – both in precious metals and stones (for example corals and turquoise) – was basically a male craft, and the objects (typically rings, earrings and bracelets) designed for women, although there are exceptions to both of these generalisations. The skills were usually passed down from father to son through the generations.

It is one of the ancient genres of Kyrgyz craft and there are many examples of mines and works for the fashioning of silver, gold and other metals throughout the country. Many different techniques were employed – including forging, stamping, engraving, embossing and plating.

The jeweler tended to perform all the operations in the manufacturing process themselves. All the skills of blacksmith, and jeweler were combined in one person. A jeweler often worked also as a blacksmith and would make all their own implements. They tended to work with pure metals – not mixing them with other base metals – although silver was often plated onto other metals. 

The type of jewellery worn by women tended to vary according their age, social status and the purpose of the decoration. The richer the family, the larger and more diverse the collection of jewellery she had available. Girls and young women wore more than older women.
 
Today, there is still a strong tradition of the design and manufacture of jewellery, especially using locally produced gold and silver.