Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
Male or female belt - it is really a difficult question, because there is evidence of being worn both by men and women. In ethnic jewellery world a piece is normally either male or female...
There was a great and long discussion on the subject with a lot of facts on the ethnic jewellery forum
Tatyana, there is an ongoing discussion that is quite interesting here.
I agree that it is unusual for a jewelry item to be worn by both a man and woman, also from two different cultures. It seems that these belts may have originated in the area of Albania, possibly as a womans belt, or at least they may have actually been worn by women in some point in time.
What is interesting is that the ruler of Egypt during the 1800s was an Ottoman soldier from Albania. Several Orientalist painters show Egyptian men wearing this type of belt. It is not hard to imagine an Albanian soldier or his wife selling an unused belt to an Ottoman while stationed in Egypt.
There is a carnelian belt that supposedly is in the Coptic Museum, Cairo Egypt, so somehow at least one of these belts ended up in Egypt, unfortunately there is no discription to go with the picture.
I just posted this here on the off chance that a forum member might have some additional information on the subject.