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The Jewelry of Jewish Women in Bukhara

Bukhara, a city in Central Asia and a former Emirate, has come to refer to all the Jewish communities in Uzbekistan. The jewelry of the Jewish bride in Bukhara – made of embossed gold plaques stuffed with bitumen and studded with emeralds, rubies, and tourmalines – reflects the wealth of her community. Brides and affluent women adorned their head ornaments with a fragrant rose and their temple ornaments with the feather of a peacock (ketshak). The jewelry typically features sun motifs, lotus flowers, dragon heads, birds, fish, and hearts. At the end of the 19th century, silversmithing was a common occupation among Jews; after the Russian conquest of the area, however, many turned to trading in jewelry.

Bequest of Yahav Magen through the Bank of Israel, Jerusalem
Purchased through the gift of Baroness Bat Sheba de Rothschild, Tel Aviv
Gift of Benjamin Zucker, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, in honor of his wife Barbara
Accession number: O.S.B66.1742, B64.12.4154(a-b), B64.12.4171, B64.12.4208(a-b), B66.12.1576, B85.1179(a-b), B10.0880, B69.0038, B69.0350

From the Israel Museum publications:
3x50@50: IMJ Collection Highlights, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2015

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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