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Ivory and bone

Ivories have for centuries been attractive as trading goods associated with wealth. Moreover, ivory symbolizes power, strength and prestige. Eelephant, the original wearer of the ivory – the largest living animal on dry land – have definitely triggered human imagination.

Political power as well as cultural and social identity is expressed through adornment. In several societies such as the Shilluk, Dinka and Nuer in Sudan, arm rings made from ivory are mainly worn by men. Ivory is valuable and for this reason decoration made from it l would usually be repaired if broken. Jewellery made of bone has an aesthetic value – wearing it meant to embellish the person. As ornaments jewellery expresses life histories, and are marking life-cycle phases and significant relationships.

Gender may also be emphasized through adornment. Through jewellery inherited, or received as gifts from those near and dear, we carry with us other persons, both the deceased and those still alive.

Through jewellery we indicate, demonstrate, nurture and further political as well as emotional attachments. In this way jewellery is involved in how we mould our presence in the world. Jewellery is casting and expressing a person’s being and standing in the present while also indicating that of the past and the future.

Ivory; Wristband; Congo; 1903; UEM11104
Ivory, leather; Wristband; Congo; 1902; UEM11105
Pieces of bone; Necklace; Congo; 1903; UEM11131
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo; Early 1900; UEM13856
Ivory, leather; Wristband; Congo; 1902; UEM14963
Elephants tusk; Trumpet; Congo; 1908; UEM17645
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo; 1908; UEM17717
Ivory; Bracelet; Uganda; 1908; UEM17718
Ivory; Wristband; Uganda; 1908; UEM17719
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo; 1908; UEM17722
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo; 1882; UEM186
Hair, leather, glassbeads, 16 leoprd teeth; Necklace (For a chief); Congo, in the district of Aruwimi, Lukeli st.; 1909; UEM19679
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo; Early 1900; UEM21746
Ivory; Bracelet; Boma, Congo ; 1900; UEM21741
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo; 1902; UEM27272
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo; 1902; UEM27273
Ivory; Bracelet; Abyssinia / Ethiopia; 1935; UEM36374
Ivory; Bracelet; Abyssinia / Ethiopia; 1935; UEM36375
Ivory, textile; Bracelet; Abyssinia / Ethiopia; UEM36381
Ivory; Anclet; Congo; 1953; UEM41183
Ivory; Bracelet; Collected by the Kassai river, Congo; Primo 1900; UEM7636
Ivory; Maniok crusher; Congo; 1892; UEM8143
Ivory; Bracelet; Congo, Basoko by Aruwim; 1892; UEM8206
Boarteeth, leather; Necklace; Ubangi, Congo ; 1892; UEM8221
Ivory; Bracelet; Abyssinia / Ethiopia; 1935; UEM36377
Bone, animals spin; Necklace; Unknown; 1908; UEM23807
Ivory; Ring for upper arm; Dinka, Sudan ; 1913; UEM22167
Published Dec. 15, 2020 8:14 AM - Last modified Dec. 15, 2020 8:14 AM