Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sold on Etsy! Kuchi Beaded Bodice Panel

Kuchi Beaded Panel

This salvaged beaded piece would have been worn on a dress which probably wore out.  It was cut out and saved for all of the hand work.  This sold in our Etsy shop and is on its way to Tennessee!  Visit our shop for similar pieces.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Afghan Tribal Arts at the International Gem and Jewelry Show in Chicago

Afghan Tribal Arts with a gorgeous Lapis Lazuli display.

Afghan Tribal Arts is the sister business of Sturee Tribal Village, importing beads, textiles and other handmade crafts from Afghanistan and the region since the 1980's.  As a wholesale business, Afghan Tribal Arts services galleries and attends bead shows throughout the Midwest and SouthEast of the United States.  Those of you who are in the Chicago area have the opportunity to attend the current show:

International Gem 
and Jewelry Show
5555 North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
DECEMBER 10-12, 2010

Friday       12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Saturday   10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Sunday     11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Tickets:    One low ticket price good for all three days! Tickets are $8.00 per person. You can purchase tickets at the show. [Cash only]
Holiday Shopping Galore! The International Gem & Jewelry Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center provides an all-in-one gift shopping jewelry showcase. From $5.00 to $500,000 ⬠there is surely something to please even the most hard-to-buy-for person on your list!

The International Gem & Jewelry Show is one of the largest exhibitions of gems, minerals and jewelry in the world. With over 300 exhibitors, the show features wonderful jewelry from all over the world⬠¦one-of-a-kind jewelry creations, gorgeous wedding bands and engagement rings, exotic gems, beads, exquisite fine jewelry, watches, estate collections and much more. We offer convenience, selection and value, all in one place.


Afghan Tribal Arts:  Booth 7007

Afghan Tribal Arts specializes in natural, hand carved beads made from semi-precious stones from Afghanistan.  These beads support artisans and their families, many who were displaced during the war with Russia.  Afghanistan is rich in minerals and bead lovers appreciate the depth and richness of color found in the many variations of lapis lazuli, jade, carnelian, onyx and many other stones.  The inventory has also grown to include natural beads from other parts of Asia and Africa.

Beads are not the only treasures you will find at the show.  Afghan Tribal Arts also has a huge collection of vintage and antique tribal and ethnic jewelry.

 Turkman Cuff from Afghan Tribal Arts

If you are out shopping for hard to find items, you will surely find a pendant, necklace or bracelet for that special woman!   All of the tribal groups in Afghanistan have ancient traditions that have defined their metal work: Turkman, Hazara, Pashtun....  gorgeous silver and old stones and beads!

The show starts today and ends on Sunday.  Mention this post to Abdul and the kids and get 10% off of your purchase.  

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Central Asian Textiles on Etsy!

Turkmen Ceremonial Vest for a Child

Afghan Tribal Arts has had an Etsy shop for awhile now, but only recently have we started to seriously stock it.  We're up to about 70 items now, working through a bin of textiles and beads.  It takes time to get things up there: photographing, editing the photos, writing up descriptions, but as the selection increases, the shop truly emerges as a place of beauty.  There is now a nice selection of beads and vintage tribal jewelry like the necklace below:

 Kuchi Necklace from Afghanistan

And, we have some nice textiles up and more to list.  For those of you who like to sew, you might be interested in the dress inserts like this one:

Salvaged nomadic dress yoke from Afghanistan.

Several tribes in Afghanistan share a basic dress pattern:  an ornamental yoke like the one above, with flowing bell sleeves and pleated skirt.  Matching "genie" pants finish the outfit.  The cuffs of both sleeves and pants are normally heavily embroidered to match the yoke.  As the cotton fabric wears out of the dress and pants, these embroidered pieces are salvaged and incorporated into new outfits, sometimes lasting through several generations.  These salvaged pieces have obvious interest in the textile community as they are often wonderful samples of intricate needlework.  The piece above, for example, is heavily embroidered with metallic thread.

We are friends with the people at Folkwear, a pattern company in Asheville, North Carolina.  They have a pattern for an Afghan dress that would work well with these yokes:

If you make one, make sure to send us a picture of you in it and we will post it on our blog!

Then, there are some beautiful beaded pieces that can also be incorporated into clothing or pillows or framed or.......  You will know what to do with them!
 Beaded Kuchi Accessory

The triangle is considered to be a powerful talisman against the evil eye all over Central Asia.  This beaded piece would be worn on a garment or even attached to animal trappings.  It is made of woven glass seed beads and then finished with twisted cotton threads.

Oh, there are many other beautiful things there and coming soon!  Do visit our shop and check back as we keep on listing more things in the upcoming weeks!  And, if you are familiar with what Afghan Tribal Arts and Sturee Tribal Village carry, feel free to leave comments with requests.  If we have it in stock, we will do our best to get it listed!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Beauty of Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan

by Abdul Wardak
Lapis lazuli has had a long, long history of being one of the most sought after stones in Central Asia.  In the Middle Ages, it was ground up and used as a pigment to paint on illuminated manuscripts.  In Ancient Egypt it was known as the "Blue Gold".  Cleopatra used it as make-up and it has been found in archeological sites as paint applied to walls.
Today, lapis is only found naturally in Afghanistan and Chile.  If you hear about a tiny little mine somewhere with a lapis vein, let us know.  We would love to hear about it!

Sturee Tribal Village carries a huge selection of lapis beads, all natural, hand carved and polished in various sheens.  Leather is often used as a finishing tool on these pieces.

 Hand carved lapis lazuli beads available at 
Sturee Tribal Village.

In the mid-1980's, lapis lazuli was over-mined in Afghanistan to generate income to the locals.  It was also used to finance the resistance against the Soviet Union's occupation. Lapis has also been a favorite stone used by tribal jewelers for centuries.  Sturee Tribal Village has a great selection of pendants, cuffs, rings and earrings, both old and new, representing many of the traditions of Central Asia.

 Tribal Pendants at Sturee Tribal Village

Visit or call us for more information on our selection of lapis lazuli beads and jewelry.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

General Mask Photos


Lovers of tribal art often accent their spaces with masks from around the world.  There is something about a mask that calls to our own spirits, perhaps a genetic imprint from way back when our ancestors may have also used masks in their lives.  Or, they appeal to our sense of fantasy, of other worlds.  Whatever the reason, masks are still made in many cultures and we love them!

Sturee Tribal Village has a nice collection of older African masks.  The spoons in the photo below are from Afghanistan, but don't they just look perfect with the masks and Kuba cloths?

The brightly colored masks below are from Indonesia, newer masks that support living carving traditions.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

General Bead Photos

Afghanistan is rich in minerals and semi-precious stones.  Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with artisans who work with the stones for years.  Over time, it has collected an enormous inventory of hand-carved, natural stone beads.  Jade, carnelian, and of course, lapis lazuli, are the signature stones of the region.  But, there are many others as well as other countries represented in the collection.

The rarity of the stone and its cut both contribute to the price.  Strands may be $15 or $20 or they may be worth hundreds, all depending on what it is.

Focal beads from around the world accent those special designs. 

General Carpet Photos

Sturee Tribal Village has a huge collection of handmade carpets from Afghanistan and other regions in Central Asia.  Afghan Tribal Arts has specialized in collecting carpets that were produced in small workshops, villages or by nomads. 

What a mess!  Digging through them is a wonderful experience!

Photos of the Gallery

Sturee Tribal Village is located in a shopping area, full of other antique stores, boutiques, and restaurants.  You can easily spend a day shopping and enjoying yourself in this neighborhood!

Come on in!

The gallery is long and full of treasures from around the world.

Tribal art from different countries meld together.

Hours and hours of looking through everything...

A day well spent!
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