Introducing… The Souq

Since Pink Jinn began in 2015, we’ve tried to showcase the beauty and complexities of an often misunderstood part of the world – the Middle East and North Africa. A driving force behind Pink Jinn has been to encourage people to visit the region, to get to know its people, experience its cultures and form their own, informed opinions of regional politics.

So we are beyond excited to introduce you to the Souq – the idea for which was dreamed up three years ago by PJ founder, Laura, on her travels in Oman. The idea behind it is to bring you some of the beautiful products you’d find in the region’s souqs and bazaars, wherever you are in the world, meanwhile supporting local businesses, entrepreneurs and causes.

We will always buy from suppliers in the region and our products will always reflect the local culture and traditional crafts. A third of our profits will also go to a charity in the region that supports local people, particularly those affected by conflict.

Shop The Souq now on Etsy

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After three years of brainstorming, searching for suppliers and testing products, we’re so excited to introduce our first collection of silver jewellery from Oman. The five pieces in the collection are all inspired by Omani cultural heritage and made by silversmiths in Nizwa, Oman.

Since the days of the old Silk Routes and Oman’s historical colonial links with the East African island of Zanzibar, Omani silversmiths have been trading their wares around the world. The silver industry is a key part of Oman’s history and cultural tradition, with Omanis wearing silver jewellery – much of which is steeped in social and religious symbolism – to adorn their colourful traditional dress on special occasions.

Pendant 1.3.jpgNIZWA | Omani Silver Traditional Flower Pendant

One of the most iconic pieces of jewellery worn by Omani women are pendants like these, usually worn on long chains that hang around the bottom of the chest. These particular pendants are relatively minimalist compared with some of the other traditional, chunkier necklaces worn by Omani women on special occasions.

Pendant 2.1.jpgHAMRA | Omani Silver Traditional Star Pendant

These iconic silver pendants were made in Nizwa, a town in the interior of Oman famous for its Souq and for traditional crafts – the heart of the Omani silver trade. Each piece is handmade and carries its own unique detail, and no two pendants are exactly the same!

Camel earring 4.jpgWAHIBA | Omani Silver Camel Earrings

Named after the vast Wahiba Desert in Eastern Oman, we chose the camel for our signature earring due to its important place in Omani history and culture. For centuries, camels have been among the most important livestock in Oman. Bedouin populations have lived off their milk and meat, while tradesmen have used them to transport their wares along the Silk Roads of old. Nowadays, they are valued for the money they can earn their owners in camel races and beauty pageants (yes, you heard that right!).

If you’re travelling around Oman you’ll likely encounter many of these majestic creatures – whether on the dunes of the Empty Quarter, grazing by the side of a highway, wandering along a pristine white beach or climbing the lush green hills of Salalah. Now you can wear a pair wherever you are in the world.

Khanjar earring 4.jpgMUSCAT | Omani Silver Khanjar Earrings

The Khanjar is the national symbol of the Sultanate of Oman and appears on the Omani flag, banknotes and all official government documents. It is a dagger shaped like a letter ‘J’ worn by Omani men on a belt around their waist over their dishdasha. Once worn as a form of protection, the khanjar is now mostly worn on special occasions such as weddings, funerals or Eid, or as a symbol of status.

Bearing probably the most iconic symbol of Oman, these earrings are obviously and authentically Omani. Sitting just in line with the jaw bone, their unique detail will catch the eye and probably start a conversation about the beautiful country that inspired them.

Coffee pot earring 4.jpgRUSTAQ | Omani Silver Coffee Pot Earrings

Coffee – or qahwa – is practically an institution in Oman. It brings together families and communities and is a key part of Oman’s world famous tradition of hospitality. Proper Omani coffee is brewed over a stove with blends of fragrant cardamom, saffron and rosewater, and is served in a coffee pot called a dalah, usually alongside dates or the traditional sweet, halwa.

If you’ve ever been invited to enjoy coffee and dates with an Omani host, you’ll know that there is a whole traditional code of etiquette around drinking qahwa, which includes giving your cup a small shake when you’re done to show you don’t want any more. These beautiful and unique dalah earrings represent one of the most famous symbols of culture, history and hospitality in Oman and the wider Arab World.

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At Pink Jinn, as well as buying from local suppliers in the Middle East, we want to give back to the communities that have inspired our business by donating to charities in the region supporting local people, particularly victims of conflict. We are therefore donating a third of the profits from our jewellery to Saba Relief, which is helping vulnerable children in Yemen by keeping them warm during the winter and providing crucial access to education.

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We hope you love the new collection as much as we do. We’ve had the best time working with our suppliers in Oman to bring you the most beautiful designs, and we’re thrilled to be supporting Saba Relief and their work in Yemen as we go. Thank you so much for following our work and helping us spread ideas, start conversations and support important causes. ✨

 

If you found this interesting, you might also like:

Evelyn Naón Ibiza: Scents of the Silk Road

Pink Jinn’s Middle East & North Africa inspired Christmas list

Essential podcasts to help you understand the Middle East

 

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SUBSCRIBE TO THE HUMP DAY NEWSLETTER TO GET 10% OFF THE SOUQ 

4 thoughts on “Introducing… The Souq

  1. Shea says:

    Laura this is AWESOME! Hugest congratulations on your new venture. What a great way to support artisans in this diverse part of the world and honour age-old traditions. X

    Liked by 1 person

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