Swahili peoples
19th or early 20th century
more object details

General Description

This heavy, hollow hinged anklet is decorated with chased and punched (hammered) motifs. In Oman, a powerful Islamic empire from the 17th to the 19th century, pairs of anklets were given to pubescent girls by their fathers and worn until they were married. On Zanzibar, an island ruled by Oman and a major slave market, the anklets were used to adorn African girls for sale. After the abolition of slavery in East Africa around the mid-19th century, Swahili women acquired their own silver anklets, like this one, for personal adornment and financial security. The anklets were made both in Oman and along the Swahili coast.

Excerpt from

  • Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa.

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