In Oman, the sweet, slightly spicy, jelly-like sweet called halwa is considered a symbol of generosity, hospitality, and excellence. The craft of halwa making is held in high esteem throughout the Sultanate, and each region tends to have its own, unique flavoured product. Preparation methods are adhered to strictly, and the preferred method of cooking is over a traditional wood fire. Halwa is often served with hot, black kahwa – which is Arabic coffee prepared with cardamom spice. The sweet flavours and chewy texture of the halwa, contrasted with the bitter, earthy flavours of the kahwa, make for a truly memorable tasting experience!
Jewellery has always been an important part of the traditional Omani dress aesthetic. These days, antique as well as new jewellery items – necklaces, bracelets, ear rings, anklets, ear pendants, bangles and hair decorations – can all still be acquired. There are also exquisite collections of traditional silver and gold jewellery on display at the Sultanate of Oman’s various museums. The bold, vivid attractiveness of Omani jewellery is truly unique, but the symbolism, tradition and stories that are incorporated into each piece are also what add even more beauty and allure to them – and what brings this wonderful jewellery to life.
Frankincense braziers – also called censers – are the small, traditional clay receptacles in which frankincense resin is burned. Along with the Sultanate of Oman’s age-old reputation as a producer of the world’s finest frankincense resin (from the Boswellia species of tree that occurs naturally in the region), the craft of these braziers has also been developed over hundreds of years. Braziers are often ornamented with bright engravings and colours by the craftsmen that make them – and each design differs according to the region in which they are made. The frankincense resin ‘teardrops’ are burned slowly on small, flat coals.