women's hair ornament

 
Culture
Tukulor people
Creation date
Materials
gold covered silver
Dimensions
2 x 1 1/8 x 1/4 in.
Credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Eiteljorg
Accession number
1989.283
Collection
Currently On View In
Eiteljorg Suite of African and Oceanic Art - W303

Although sculpture representing animal and human forms is almost non-existent among such Muslim peoples as the Tukulor, Wolof and Peul, their accomplishments in other arts such as weaving, leatherwork, gourd decoration and jewelry are noteworthy.

Jewelry items such as this example form an important part of a woman's personal prestige and wealth. Most are composed of silver alloy parts that are soldered together, then gilded, that is, covered with a gold wash. This technique and some stylistic elements of this type of jewelry are part of a centuries-old tradition found in Western Africa, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean world. The similarities of technique and style of the Wolof and Tukulor jewelry from Senegal illustrate this fact. This shared metalworking tradition has been brought about by trade and other interaction across the Sahara Desert.

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