Ivory armlet

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Armlet, collected c.1901-08
West Africa, Nigeria

Donated by Sir J Middleton, 1953
Museum number 1953-85-3

The powerful symbolism of the elephant explains the preference in many regions of Africa for ivory rather than gold. Most chieftains held a claim to all the ivory from elephants killed on their lands. Ivory, hair and bone was turned into jewellery and these items became potent symbols of authority.

Ivory armlet
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