Ladies' Neck ornaments

Traditionally, there are two types of neck jewellery: a string of beads called namysto with coins called dukachi and girdany.


Common materials are metals, stones (with corals often used to symbolize youth and health), wood, leather, glass, etc.  They were generally protective or informative, for instance, they could tell how wealthy the family was as since six strings of coral beads could cost as much as a pair of oxen).


The earliest neck ornaments were made of pits and seeds taken from vegetables, fruit and grains and were subsequently replaced by stone, metal and glass beads. Later necklaces were crafted from expensive natural materials such as coral, amber, pearls, glass and garnets – worn by the wealthy.


A woman’s social status could easily be determined by her neck ornaments. The more beads and the more rows she had around her neck, the more prosperous she was. The poorest wore 2-3 rows of coral, while the rich – 10 to15.