Women’s necklace with double ‘muskalık’ (holder for amulet). Silver or ‘alpaka’ (nickel silver), a silvery-coloured alloy of 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. Traditional jewelry, late 19th or early 20th century.
Traditional Muslim faith in Turkey includes the belief in the protective and healing power of amulets, called ‘muska’ or ‘himayıl’. These can have different forms: a design (e.g. in knitted stockings), an object (e.g. little mirrors or the so-called ‘göz’ = eye, a blue glass pearl with a white spot) or specific formulas written down by Islamic scholars on a little piece of paper. These papers are sewed into clothing (e.g. of little children) or placed into little boxes hanging on chains, which can be worn around the neck (as is the case here: one triangular and one cylindric). These boxes are called ‘muskalık’ (= amulet-thing).
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen