But beyond the emotionally transparent, “wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve” ostentation that so often characterises western notions of adornment, Bedouin jewellery has historically served a larger purpose.
Traditionally the preserve of Arabia’s nomadic tribes, jewellery provided the primary means of transporting wealth. Whilst a thread of stylistic continuity runs back thousands of years, with each generation that passed, pieces were melted down to return in new iterations or incarnations over the next. For Bedouins – personal expression is bound up inseparably with ideas of independence, security and even survival.
Today, pioneered by the likes of Gaia Repossi, haute jewellers are taking a more anthropological approach to their craft – borrowing forms and silhouettes from a broad range of cultural and ethnic references. In Muscat, at least, there is still the possibility to discover this allure in its purest form.