There are two things that any tourist who has been to the middle East or more specifically the tourism mecca of Dubai will definitely have done. The first is the desert safari which involves riding around in 4WD on sandy dunes in a manner that only Arabs can. The other is to look at the majestic falcons of the Sheikhs who use these birds as a symbol of their power and strength. It used to be that the falcons were invaluable in the help they provided by allowing the hunters to capture scarce meat in the desert. However the oil riches have ensured that no Sheikh in the middle east will ever need to stoop so low as to hunt for his own food ever again. Falcons today are a source of pride amongst the Sheikhs and falconry an art that allows them to connect to their past.
The hoods of the falcons (which are necessary for training what is still a very wild bird) have always been artistic. Made from the best of leather, the only thing that was missing so far was bling. However if a company in Italy is to be believed, this is something that they are definitely working on.
so far, Tiroler Goldschmied, based in Tyrol, northern Italy, has already created 10 customised hoods whose prices range from 5000 Euros all the way to 47,000 Euros. It has taken the Italian jewelers a year of research and development to create a hood that is both comfortable yet trendy. Hoods are the most important accessory in falconry since they keep the bird calm. It needs to be sturdy, not an attribute one would usually associate with a bejewelled accessory.
The hoods which are made from the finest leathers (the most popular one being black and white leather studded with diamonds) last upto 5 months if used occassionally. However the company promises to use the diamonds again to create a new hood one the old one starts getting worn. Each hood is personalised with a coat of arms as well as the name of the falconer.
” Every hood is one-of-a-kind piece and designed according to individual ideas. We will gladly engrave your handwritten signature, personal initials, or coat of arms on your diamond-studded falconry hoods. ”
Hit up Tiroler Goldschmied on their website for more details.