necklace (necklace)


Imitation claws are normally made out of bone rather than wood. Made by people who could not afford real animal claws (cf. examples strung with large, chunky ovoid red beads, worn by chiefs or people who are upwardly mobile). Looks like it contains giraffe hair – technique with fine beads and animal hair is likely to relate to southern area of Colony of Natal. Late 19th century. Real power claws are associated with the chief as he is a liminal figure, tapping into forces of nature and culture using both to enforce their rule.

This object is not on display.

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