Kazakh traditions in jewelry-making

According to famous Kazakh jeweler Berik Alibay, his mission is to preserve and multiply the heritage of his ancestors. The jewelry art is not just a job for him, but the labor of love and a family craft. In the past, his grandfather was a jeweler. Berik Alibay inherited his talent and is currently passing his skills to his younger son. According to the jeweler, Kazakh people historically developed special attention to jewelry as they are served not only as decorations, but also as part of various rituals and beliefs. The Kazakh people have a special attitude towards silver and believe that it has purifying and magical properties. Therefore, the majority of the jeweler’s works are made of this precious metal. 


 - My job is an opportunity to delve into history and traditions of my ancestors. In the modern world, there are many technologies which allow creating the same jewelry, but in larger numbers. However, handwork performed by one jeweler from the beginning to the end gives the jewelry special creative energy.

Berik Alibay believes in energies. According to the jeweler, antique items, such as weapons, jewelry and household items have very powerful aura. Berik Alibay believes that every person has his own biofield, which is why he cannot create jewelry for any random person.


 - Sometimes a customer orders a piece of jewelry, but I cannot make it, because something tells me that I shouldn’t. There is no energy or chemistry. However, I can complete jewelry for some people in just a day. Sometimes, I even feel guilty that I made it so fast.

In his career, Berik Alibay made thousands of items, including brides’ wedding jewelry, rings, earrings and horse tacks. They all differed from one another. However, they are united by the jeweler’s attitude. The Honored artist of Kazakhstan decorates every piece of jewelry in accordance with the Kazakh jewelry traditions. According to Berik Alibay, it’s his way of preserving the Kazakh art of jewelry-making.