The Origins of Metana Jewelry: From Baghdad to Bombay January 07 2013

Before I got married my mother came to me and sat me down. At the table she pulled out a small silk pouch containing several pieces of jewelry that had belonged to her for many years and that she now wanted to give to me. Inside were two gold bangles and an antique photo pendant of my Iraqi-born maternal grandmother Mozelle Metana. The name Metana was not only my grandmother’s maiden name but in a sweet and symbolic turn also sounded similar to the word gift in Hebrew. 

As a baby my grandmother’s family moved from Baghdad to Bombay where they lived in a thriving community of Iraqi Jews. The photo pendant of my grandmother dates back to the early 1900’s when she was a young woman growing up in India. In her twenties she married Meyer Abraham and had four children, my mother being the youngest. The family was surrounded by a mix of social and cultural influences including Middle Eastern, British and Indian which pervaded their everyday lives. 

At the age of sixteen my mother began working as a secretary for a tea company in Bombay saving any extra money she had to buy jewelry for herself including the two gold bangles she gave to me which she purchased around 1955. As a child I always remember my mother wearing these bracelets. They were something that was a part of her; they were personal and most of all sentimental. 

Years after receiving these gifts from my mother and deciding to open up my own jewelry store, the name Metana seemed like the obvious choice for my shop. For me jewelry has not just been about wearing what is trendy or in fashion but also about bringing meaning and creating a history to each piece I wear.