Splendor and Shine in the River of Time

Traditional Jewellery and Costumes throughout the Life course.

Exhibition in the Liechtenstein National Museum
By Irene Steiner

Exhibition period 5/21/2020 to 9/20/2020


Adornments and traditional costumes are part of our rich and diverse cultural heritage.

Home and regional identity are gaining special value all around the world in the age of globalization and digitiszation. Costumes and ethnic jewellery draw from the formal and symbolic treasures of their original cultures and times. Regional clothing styles, traditional costumes, their renewed forms worn by today’s societies as well as traditional jewellery change slowly, and, stay connected in their profound symbolic and cultural structures, i.e. the “cultural matrix”. In all their graceful beauty, they serve as eloquent witnesses of past lives and realities.

The exhibition sets off in the principality of Liechtenstein, and, leads through folk costume regions nearby and far away. It includes several hundred pieces of traditional costumes’ adornments, jewellery and amulets from the 18th to the 20th century as well as 24 complete costumes from more than 150 years of development in Europe, with a focus on the German-speaking areas all over Europe. Among these are antique folk dresses from Schaumburg-Lippe, Hesse, the Black forest region, Bavaria, the Island of Föhr, Alsace, Austria, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Transsylvania and others. Selected jewellery pieces from Asia (Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and others) and Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Cameroon and others) provide additional perspectives. Decisive turning points in life, marital status, age group, and, social position become recognisable through the implementation, materials, and, colours of the costumes as well as by their accompanying adornments. Every single piece condenses, preserves and conveys the energy of special moments and phases of life.

The approach to focus on traditional ethnic jewellery worldwide, including European folk jewellery, reveals many early cultural contacts and enables the visitor to realise common features as well as local differences in the development of ethnic jewellery traditions.


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