About this collection

Metal items used in traditional households were many, including various knives, tweezers, stirrups, belt buckles, utensils, boxes, tools, and many others. Although blacksmiths constituted a separate profession, in the past many ordinary nomads could do simple smithery on their own, including repairing metal tools, utensils, and other iron hardware.

Kalmyk jewellers traditionally used various metals in their line of work, including iron, silver, gold and copper. A special mixture consisting of silver, tin, copper, borax and sulphur was widely used to repair the damaged surface of metal goods. Jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings were richly decorated with both Kalmyk and non-Kalmyk ornaments made of pearls, precious wood and semiprecious stones such as coral, turquoise or jasper.

Recent Submissions

  • Nikolai Galushkin, About smithery and ornaments 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-03-01)
  • Nikolai Galushkin, A tobacco pipe 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-03-01)
  • Nikolai Galushkin, A Kalmyk knife 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-03-01)
  • Dordzhi Nandyshev, about smithery and metalwork 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2019-05-04)
    Dordzhi talks about metalwork he and his brother do: My younger brother put a stove in his stone barn and, looking on the internet, made metalwork. He can now make knives and horse halters. I myself make ‘bows’ on the ...

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