I am Sigrid van Roode, jewellery historian, ethnographical researcher and author. For the last 25 years, I have worked and traveled extensively in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. I am currently working on my PhD research into jewellery and ritual, at Leiden University.
I work with museums and private collectors to describe, research and publish existing collections of traditional jewellery from North Africa and Southwest Asia. I create a solid basis for their future, so these collections can be passed on with confidence and do not lose their voice as a historic source.
My story with jewellery began over 25 years ago. I came across traditional silver jewellery for the first time in Cairo, and realized that like archaeology, which I work with on a daily basis, these pieces are a historic source.
So I started reading, looking and talking with people all over North Africa and Southwest Asia. While I was sifting through bags and piles of dusty jewellery, drinking stong tea in the back of stores and marketplaces, and spending many hours in libraries and museums, one by one the stories began to reveal themselves. They tell us about the lives of women in a way that no history book does. They communicate identity and values from within. They are heritage.
These heritage pieces have traveled to all corners of the world. They have come along with oil expats, with hippies and with tourists. They have been collected with love, but they also have become isolated, far away from their first lives. That is where I come in: by providing solid descriptions and attributions as well as sharing the stories of their lives I reconnect them to their cultural background. I make collected jewellery items ready for a long future.
Besides inventorying collections, I curate exhibitions and organize workshops to explore the meaning of jewellery beyond adornment. I am the author of several books, a member of the Society of Jewellery Historians and am a Creative Consultant for The Zay Initiative. I teach classes, present lectures and most of all, I never stop learning!
Bedouin Silver is a registered business name of my consultancy company Van Roode Erfgoedadvisering en Tekstproductie, based in The Netherlands. The terms and conditions that apply to using this website can be found here.
Use the form below to get in touch! I will respond to your message as soon as I can. Please check your email junk folder: if you are reaching out because you did not hear from me after an earlier question, please be sure to include a second option for me to contact you. If my emails ended up in your junk folder, my reply to your current question most likely will as well!
I am always interested in reviewing books, exhibitions or cultural events related to personal adornment in the Arab world. Contact me to discuss possibilities.
Please note that I will review honestly and transparently, expressing my own views of your product or event.