The journey of our silver
Yemen carries a unique history of silver craftsmanship dating back centuries and with various designs unique to specific families and regions. Traditional Yemeni silver pieces are often very large and range from bracelets and necklaces to large headpieces, belts and silver-decorated fabrics.
The Yemen Journey works with silversmiths in the Old City of Sana’a, who have specialized in mixing silver from old and larger pieces, into new contemporary and more simplistic designs, that speaks to a modern audience. The pieces we offer therefore consists of pieces that are each between 80 and 500 hundred years old, but presented in new designs.
Simplistic and plain pieces derive from the Beduin silver tradition (100 to 200 years old) and the Mansuri silver tradition (500 years old). Flower and herbal designs are largely distinct to the ancient town of Zabid where the Zaydia silversmiths produced these between 100 to 200 years ago. The braided silver necklaces and bracelets are specific to the eastern Hadramawt region, where this particular technique of creating thin silver threads was developed 150 years ago. Traditionally used to decorate horses, the old pieces have been redesigned into jewelry. The delicate and incredibly detailed silver pieces are specific to the Jewish silver families (between 150 and 80 years old), where especially the Boussani family is famous.
The Yemen Journey also offers a few new pieces, handmade by silversmiths who learned the craft from the Jewish silver families. Creation of new silver is limited today as the local market has shifted towards gold as the preferred metal, and thus only a handful of silversmiths continues to produce new silver pieces, keeping the ancient craftsmanship alive.
Our necklaces embody modern and simplistic interpretations of traditional Yemeni silver pieces. The necklaces have been designed by silversmiths from the Old City of Sana’a, who have specialized in mixing old pieces from the Beduin, Mansuri, Hadrami, Zaydia and Yemeni-Jewish silver traditions, with each piece being between 80 and 500 years old.
Colorful natural stones are a part of some of the designs, in particular fairuz (turquoise), red coral, green malakit and blue labas. Amber, agat and jade stones are also used.
Each piece is handmade and unique and the gallery only presents examples of work produced. Contact us for more designs and information.