Without beginning or end Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade http://etnografskimuzej.rs/ 08.03.2016. to 28.05.2016.

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Various theories have been developed to explain the origin and emergence of jewelry. Some believe that it stemmed from the practical needs of people, others that it originated from religious beliefs of a primitive community and the belief that its magical properties should protect the wearer from the “evil eye”. Some, however, see its origin and emergence as a historical necessity and a consequence of social movements through certain stages of development.

Although opinions vary on the original purpose, there is a general consensus that personal adornment dates back to ancient times and is characteristic of the man since the dawn of civilization.

Ever since it was founded, the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade has been collecting, researching, and preserving jewelry – a very important part of cultural heritage – from oblivion. The Jewelry Collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade consists of nearly 3,000 items, including 383 fi nger rings. The catalogue of fi nger rings is the fi rst in a series of collection catalogues pertaining to the Jewelry Collection that will eventually make the complete Catalogue of the Jewelry Collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade.

A finger ring has been the most popular piece of jewelry all over the world. While some othertypes of jewelry are found only in certain areas, or limited to only a certain segment of thepopulation, fi nger rings are equally worn by urban and rural populations, the young, middle-aged, and the old, the poor and the wealthy, the Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, and Muslims. The main features of this piece of jewelry are diversity of materials used in its manufacture, multitude of forms, manufacturing techniques, and decoration processes, as well as a variety of purposes.

In the medieval times, a ring was there to adorn its wearer, to indicate the wearer’s social and fi nancial status, protect the wearer from evil infl uences, link the wearer mystically with another person, and serve as a seal when needed. The ring occupies this important place in human life even today. It has been the constant companion of man, something mystical in the shape of a circle, without beginning or end.

Author: Jelena Tesic-Vuletic


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