Two Omani silver Dhofari Hair ornament

Dhofari Hair decoration
  • Description

 

Common Omani silver Tassel like hair ornaments.  Typically worn in sets of six by young girls or eight by women.  These plait ornaments would have been attached to the ends of the plaits which were often thickened and extended with black wool.

According to Miranda Morris, these plait ornaments were stuffed with palm-fibre or pieces of cotton wool from the wild cotton plant, or from the fruit of Caloptris procera. The fibre was soaked in pitch (lek), resin (samgh) or quicklime (nura) before being inserted into the silver cone in order to prevent the valuable but fragile silver from splitting, denting, or being damaged in any other way. Miranda Morris, 'Oman Adorned: a portrait in Silver' (Muscat, 1997) p.234. She goes on to say that 'a girl wore six of these attached to her plaits, a married woman usually eight - or ten for full dress'. Morris, 'Oman Adorned: a portrait in Silver', p.234.

Omani silver hair decoration

 
 

Arab names:  Athaqil / Atakil

Period: 1930-1970

Origin: Oman Dhofar region

References:
  1. Oman Adorned  by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 235, 269-271;278-284;312-313 p 231-232
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2  p 437 fig 13
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 67 fig 59; Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 20
  4. PDO News No 4/1992 Oman silver Jewelry by Rebecca Brickson p 30
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 20 fig 2.6 has photo with a similar item
  6. The Wereld Museum in Rotterdam has two similar hair ornaments. h 10 x br 2,3 cm (1) h 9,7 x br 2,3 cm (2) weight: 54 grams (for 2). Ex collection Smith / Hutschenruyter. Inventory 77079.
  7. British Museum has 10 examples reg 2012,6010.115.a-j