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Wood is a well known material for the creation of necklaces and bracelets. In jewellery production knowledge about the various aesthetic qualities of the wood is necessary; solidity, plasticity, colour and smoothness. Bark, berries and leaves from various trees may also carry medicinal qualities and will, as such, often form a part of the jewellery. Medical knowledge is thus included in craftsmanship, and when combined with such medication, jewellery becomes transformed into amulets.

Jewellery forms part of a person’s physical and bodily presence in the world. The use of jewellery – such as bracelets and necklaces – concerns appearance. It is linked to the idea of seeking the attention of others or, as, protection against un-wished-for attention such as envy and jealousy. Certain kinds of jewellery, in addition to being decorative, also, act as, amulets. They protect against illness and evil and bring protection and good luck.

Some amulets are worn as medication, for instance, against impotency, promoting fertility and the production of mother’s milk. Amulets may be carried with the purpose of keeping the attention of one’s lover and spouse, to ensure good relationships with the in laws, co-wife’s or others with whom one share everyday-life. In this way the aesthetics of jewellery may serve many purposes, particulary that of medication and protection.

Woodbeads, cotton ; Tashibi, prayer beads; Ethiopia; 1949; UEM40576
Rotting; Bracelet; Konjo, Uganda ; 1957; UEM42609
Nuts, cotton; Necklace; Ethiopia, Somalia, Galla; 1971; UEM44367
Woodbeads; Tashibi, prayer beads; Ethiopia; 1974; UEM44892
Wood, cotton, glass, iron; Necklace; Congo; 1892; UEM7662
Rotting, plant fiber; Necklace; Sankuru, Congo ; 1902; UEM7676
Wood, cotton; Necklace; Ubangi, Congo ; 1892; UEM8175
Wood, cotton; Necklace; Congo; 1892; UEM8178
Published Dec. 15, 2020 8:46 AM - Last modified Dec. 15, 2020 8:46 AM