The heart shape of this object is not by itself to do with love, as Westerners are apt to think. Indeed, Elmira Gyul has suggested to us that the shape should be thought of as representing a pregnant woman. In that sense, of course an association with “love” would be appropriate. However, others point out that the shape is that of a spear or arrow head, and as such, this is the amulet worn by a woman ON HER BACK (attached to her plaits). Its shape protects her against wounds and attacks from behind.
The Turkoman think carnelians protect one against blood loss.
This piece was exhibited in the large exhibition of jewelry, “A Fine Possession,” in Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. It measures 46.5 x 26 cm.