Afghani Hand-beaded Beetle Necklace
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is a winding, clanging, sparkling, beguiling warren of over 4400 shops, selling everything from leather pouffes, exotic jewels and coloured tea glasses, to filigree lamps, Turkish towels and faded kilim carpets.
I had this beautiful necklace made there on my first visit to the city almost nine years ago. Tired, hungry and a little emotional, I stumbled into a tiny antique jewellery store where, over sweet apple tea, I fell into deep conversation with the Afghani man who hand-beaded me this necklace for me out of beetle beads. I still remember his gentle voice and big, rough hands threading the soft green beads from his homeland as he told me about how much he missed it. How he missed flying kites in the mountains with his childhood friends. How I could never imagine how verdant, how rich and how wonderful it had once been.
Sadly, I’ll probably never know. But this necklace makes me think of that once-great land and reminds me of that magical moment. Now it can remind you of it, too.