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Collar necklace

This wide collar necklace is worn by a young uninitiated girl aged 4 - 5. A sign that she has not yet been circumcised. The collar is made by a girl aged around 10 years from the stems of wild asparagus (Asparagus africanus) and grass fibre (Cassina aethiopica)

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Necklace

A necklace composed of several strands of aluminium wire coiled around a strand of iron wire. All strands are bound together by aluminium bands. The coiled wire is done by a specialist chainmaker on a machine called kilingi.

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Necklace

This large beaded collar necklace of black beads is worn by an uncircumcised girl and was once made from till (black sesame) seeds if it is locally available. Otherwise black glass seed beads would be used instead.

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Pendant

Leaf-shaped earrings like these are worn by Turkana women. Larger versions are worn by Turkana and Pokot men through the nasal septum. It is obligatory for the groom to wear one at the marriage ceremony.

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Hip belt

Such belts are worn by unmarried girls to attract the attention of young men at the many youth dances. More than one belt was worn. They were never sold in the market but could be exchanged privately for one goat or two depending upon width. Decorated with various symbols such as the triangle (misyi) which refers to a big arrow could be a reference to an old type of house.

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Ear ornament

These are the typical type of Kikuyu earrings worn by initiated young girls and women. They are called hangi but these do not appear to be authentic as they are of the wrong colour. They may have been made recently especially to sell for money or for young men to wear at dances (they traditionally often wore pink hangi for dances). The traditional ones should be thirty or more circles of dirty pink beads strung on fine iron wire (thiimo) with different colour beads on the one or two outer rings on which is a rectangular pendant of small chain. The Kikuyu did not use red and yellow traditionally for earrings. These earrings were traditionally made by men because the thin wire had to be made by drawing it through a drawplate by the wire drawers/chainmakers.

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Ear ornament

These are the typical type of Kikuyu earrings worn by initiated young girls and women. They are called hangi but these do not appear to be authentic as they are of the wrong colour. They may have been made recently especially to sell for money or for young men to wear at dances (they traditionally often wore pink hangi for dances). The traditional ones should be thirty or more circles of dirty pink beads strung on fine iron wire (thiimo) with different colour beads on the one or two outer rings on which is a rectangular pendant of small chain. The Kikuyu did not use red and yellow traditionally for earrings. These earrings were traditionally made by men because the thin wire had to be made by drawing it through a drawplate by the wire drawers/chainmakers.

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Ear ornament

This ear ornament is made of a short copper chain with a single large old blue handmade Venetian glass bead. Designed to copy Maasai adornment. This item is said to be rare.

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