Dubai – MENA Herald: The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), in cooperation with the Women’s Museum, has issued a new encyclopedia entitled ‘Traditional Emirati Jewels’.

The encyclopedia was launched at a special ceremony held yesterday (November 9, 2015) at the Women’s Museum. The official launch and signing ceremony of the encyclopedia was attended by a number of dignitaries.

The ceremony included a tour of the Women’s Museum, followed by a screening of a documentary film titled “Blessed Dubai”, which chronicles important historical episodes from the life of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In her remarks to the attendees, Dr. Rafia Ghubash highlighted the importance of documenting key historical periods and timelines through an authentic portrayal of the jewellery and accessories worn by Emirati women from the time.

Dr. Ghubash said, “The ‘Traditional Emirati Jewels’ encyclopedia is born out of the synergy between HHC and the Women’s Museum, whose strategic partnership has proved to be greatly beneficial for both entities. While HHC contributes to strengthening the efforts of the Women’s Museum aimed at promoting intellectual and cultural activities and the documentation of our historical past, the Museum serves as an intellectual and cultural tributary to the efforts of HHC to maintain the UAE’s national heritage and cultural traditions.”

The ‘Traditional Emirati Jewels’ encyclopedia is a first-of-its-kind effort that documents Emirati women’s jewellery in its various forms and names. The encyclopedia was put together following extensive communication with women from different emirates in the UAE in order to collect information from them and verify the authenticity of the facts gathered, especially in view of the fact that the names of some of these ornaments vary from one emirate to another. The encyclopedia comprises vivid and vibrant images of traditional jewellery worn by Emirati women, with accurate, well-researched information on each of the various types of ornaments, alongside verses of Nabati poetry in which the names and utility of those ornaments are mentioned.

For her part, Dr. Amina Al Dhaheri said: “HHC adopts a multi-faceted approach to documenting the cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates, combining several innovative ways and means in reaching our goal. We have managed to issue a large number of books and publications in a very short period since the establishment of the Center, thereby reinforcing the vision of HHC in terms of preserving and safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of the UAE and transmitting it to the next generation.”

“We thank the team at the Women’s Museum for their meaningful efforts to document and disseminate our nation’s cultural heritage, covering all the aspects related to the life of Emirati women including arts, literature, heritage, fashion and religion that give an interesting insight into their interests and lifestyles and which reflect the prominent status they have enjoyed in our society throughout history.”

About the encyclopedia

‘Traditional Emirati Jewels’ offers a basic reference to women’s jewellery that was used in the UAE. The Women’s Museum acquired an original and old collection of jewellery which was owned by gracious women who donated their mothers’, aunts’ and grandmothers’ precious pieces of jewellery to the museum. A special effort is given to document the names of previous owners who kindly donated their jewellery to the museum, in order that the encyclopedia documents human history, and not just history of collectibles.

The book contains images of gold ornaments that have been crafted in the UAE and which assume attractive shapes expressive of the marine, desert and mountainous environments of the country. The book also includes verses of Nabati poetry to introduce the authentic names of gold pieces in ancient Emirati dialect.