Making their mark: women silversmiths from Oman

Written by Amelia Kedge, ITP Assistant

On 19th October, a brand new Asahi Shimbun Display opened here at the British Museum, Making their mark: women silversmiths from Oman. Told through the stories of three women, the exhibition sheds light on the longstanding tradition of silversmithing in Oman, and the work they’re doing to revive the practice.

Display of the 'Making their mark:
women silversmiths from Oman' exhibition at the British Museum

The three Omani women silversmiths in the exhibition represent three generations: Tuful Ramadan (1949-2021), Mahfoudha al-Balusha (b. 1956) and Fatma al Najjar (b. 1992). Their beautiful creations and personal testimonials demonstrate their passion and dedication for silversmithing, an industry which is typically dominated by men.

Silver jewellery had been declining in popularity since the 1970s in favour of gold, but the last couple of decades, however, have witnessed the revival of the craft, particularly through the work of Ramadan, al-Balushi and al Najjar and their contemporary takes on traditional designs.

The exhibition is the result of research conducted by an all-women-led research team from the British Museum and scholars from Oman, Canada, and the USA, including Moza Sulaiman al-Wardi (ITP 2013) who is the Assistant Director General for Museum Affairs, Oman Across Ages Museum in Manah, Oman. Moza was here for the opening of the exhibition, and it was lovely to see her and congratulate her on her hard work.

Making their mark: women silversmiths from Oman is on display in Room 3 at the British Museum until 17th December 2023.