Antique Turkoman Silver Pendant Asik Ersari Tribal Design
Antique silver Turkoman pendant called asik by the Turkoman. This plain ungilded silver with a certain cut of the gemstone is characteristic of the Ersari tribe of 1900, according to Dieter and Reinhold Schlechter, Old Silver Jewelry of the Turkoman.

There are circular tracings for decorations along the raised section markers of the asik. The carnelian in the center is cut irregularly, slightly domed but baroque on its surface. The ruby red gemstones or glass? are incised with symbols of a crescent moon and stars.

I assume these represent Moslem symbols, as the Turkoman people were not moon worshippers according to the history recorded by Messrs. Schlechter. The Turkoman honored ancestors, the mountains which were their original homeland, and the family.

The asik seems heart-shaped to us, but to the Turkoman it suggests part of the female anatomy. It is a symbol for wife and mother to wear.

This piece was collected in Afghanistan. The Ersari live in the northern regions of Afghanistan and wear such asik as this one.

Note that the wire is only for holding the pendant for display. It is not a part of the piece.

The piece is large, measuring 8.3 inches long and 5.5 inches wide