One of the cornerstones is the ‘oya’, that being the generic name for all the finishing’s of the traditional headscarf, worn by the Turkish woman. This oya patterns have countless variations, depending of the region, but also of the marital status of the woman. Special (wider) oya’s are used for praying shawls, used at the mosque or religious celebrations, but also while reading the Koran at home.
It is of no importance if the girl usually covers her head or not, in her trousseau a large amount of oya’s is compulsive, again depending of the region, up till three hundred (!!). There are places where the female wedding guests get one as a remembering, but more often than not all those beautiful oya’s get buried in a chest for ever. The old ones, made with silk thread, are a very sought after collectors item.
These oya’s can be made in a diversity of techniques: crocheting, tatting, needle lace, among others, in every case including, or not, seed beads. The variations are endless and the resulting lace trimmings are often breathtaking.
Less known is the use of those oya’s by men as part of the outfit of the efe’s, (efeler in Turkish). Today these efe’s are mostly folkloric dance groups, but they have their roots in the 16th century, when groups of partisans, or outlaws, fitted out like that, rebelled against the lords of that time. ‘Efe’ is still a synonym for brave hearted, what, wearing a crown of flowers and diaper style pants, is not a small fait. And…hell…they have the best oya’s on their head, with huge needle lace flowers.
It has been a real pleasure to incorporate these beautiful oya’s in our jewelry. They make gorgeous, feather light earrings, and different kinds of necklaces…with a taste of the east!