Pottery is not only used for decoration, Omanis also use it to store dates and grains, as bottles for water, and even as frankincense burners. Some traditional pottery is light brown or beige – the color of the dried earth that they were made of but there are also some beautiful colored pottery pieces. Although pottery is made all over Oman, the city of Bahla is well known for its pottery production because of the high quality clay it has in its wadis.
Omani wood is famous for its high quality and ability to be shaped and engraved into different tools and objects. Omanis use it to make doors and windows but the most famous wooden creation in Oman is the mandoo, a wooden chest that is made in different sizes and is usually decorated or engraved. People use it to store clothes, jewelry or even food.
The Khanjar is the Omani dagger. It is a unique representation of the Omani culture and it is even featured on the country’s flag. Men usually wear it in a belt around their waists on important occasions like formal meetings and national festivals, they also wear it for weddings and social events. It is usually made from Omani silver, but sometimes the handle is made from ivory.
Frankincense, which looks like small yellow or beige stones, produces a unique scent when it is burned. Frankincense was a precious valuable gift, that used to be given to kings and royalties in the past. It was also believed to be purifying and healing from certain diseases. Until this day, it is still treasured and widely used in Oman and other countries.
As Oman is the land of mountains, it is also the land of palm trees and dates. Every Omani house has a palm, palm trees grow around hotels and malls and on the side of the roads. In the past, people didn’t only use these trees for their mouth-watering dates, but also for their leaves. The palm leaves, whether green or dried, are used to make several handicrafts like baskets, which are used to store dates and grains, to cook meat in or to make date honey. Palm leaves are used make some of the most beautiful crafts, that make some of the best Omani souvenirs.
In the past Omani women’s jewelry was mainly made from silver and a wide variety is still produced today. Whether necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets or anklets, they are all made with Oman’s best silver and are some of the most precious gifts and souvenirs in Oman.
Omani traditional clothes are unique in their shapes, colors and ornamentation. Men usually wear the deshdasha, which is a long white or colorful piece of cloth, the khanjar and the kummah, which is the traditional cap. Women wear colorful dresses with matching scarves, and a black abaya on top. Taking home some Omani clothing as a souvenir will make tourists’ visit to Oman an unforgettable one as they will take back an actual piece of the country.
Oman’s silver is of the highest quality and is famous in the Arab world. As well as being used to make jewelry and khanjar, it is used to make unique handmade crafts like perfume bottles, small jewelry boxes, frankincense burners, dalla (traditional Omani coffee pot) and other crafts. Usually the Omani silver crafts have spectacular inscriptions that are inspired by Islamic design, Arabic calligraphy or Omani engravings.