Worn as a powerful amulet, this silver ornament was sewn to the clothing of a woman of the Teke Turkomen nomadic tribe of the Central Asian steppes. Such ornaments hung in profusion from both the front and back of clothes, and were attached to headpieces and hair of young women to ward off evil and attract good fortune. The central shape of this one, a triangle bordered in braided silver wire, is an ancient symbol of fertility. The upper termination may represent a stylized animal horn. The blue of the turquoise was added as protection against the evil eye; the two orange-colored stones may be agate or carnelian. Typical of Central Asian nomadic jewelry are the five chains with tear-shaped drops that hang from the triangle. (For similar Turkomen jewelry, see "Arts and Crafts of Turkestan," by Johannes Kalter, Thames and Hudson, 1984.) This piece is from the early 20th century and is in very good condition; three of the teardrop pendants show their age and use with surface dents. The chain has been added so the ornament can be worn as a necklace. Size of ornament only: length 5-1/4" (13 cm), width 1-1/2" (4 cm). Length of the chain is 27 " (69 cm).