Seeds crafted into jewelry in Turkey’s west
The seeds of fruits like olive, plum, peach and almond, along with the seeds of some medicinal plants from the skirts of the Mount Ida are crafted into jewelry by village women living in the northwestern province of Balıkesir’s Edremit district.
After the seeds of the fruit are dried for a year, the jewelry produced by the women is put on sale at the Alibey Kudar Ethnography Gallery in the Tahtakuşlar neighborhood.
The prices of the jewelry range from 5 to 20 Turkish liras and half of the income from the jewelry contributes to the families of the women.
The director of the gallery, Mustafa Selim Kudar, said Mount Ida was a treasure on its own, adding that they took advantage of this treasure by crafting organic jewelry.
Kudar said they produced more detailed organic jewelry with new designs this year. “All of the organic jewelry we have been selling in 2018 is produced by women. My wife and I design the jewelry. Our inspiration comes from old Turkmen jewelry objects,” he said.
He said nature should also be used in designing jewelry.
“With these jewelries, we promote our culture and also contribute to the economy of the villagers by selling them in the gallery. For example, young girls are given seeds as jewelry. ‘You are a seed,’ they are told. The idea is that they will marry and have children. Various types of seeds, including olive seeds, are used to make jewelry. This year, we recycled olive seeds. Of course, everything is produced after preparations, which take a year or two,” said Kudar.
Kudar said local seeds should be taken under protection.
“We do not have tomato or cucumber seeds anymore. But in order to protect olives, we have collected their seeds and prepared them. We have made them for young girls. We have also made designs for fruits of other seeds like plums, peaches, almonds and walnuts. Seeds are a symbol of abundance and richness. We need to protect nature so it will give back to you. When a girl is married, she is sent off with jewelry made from different seeds so that she brings richness wherever she goes,” he said.
The seeds that are worn by young women are known as a “mother’s scent,” Kudar said.
“Cloves show a person’s willingness to marry and since it is very beneficial in terms of oxygen, they are worn until that person has a child. Everywhere in the world, cloves are considered bridal jewelry,” he said.