Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Her favourite earrings

A rare pair of Pashtun ear pendants, each consisting of a wire frame that has been skilfully wrapped in fabric at the back and at the bottom. The two wires at the front are exposed and each is set with three brass platelets. The wires are connected with metal struts which have been wrapped with small green and red glass beads. Clusters of copper bells have been attached at the bottom and a small white button has been sewn to the front of each pendant. Height: 10.5cm. Early twentieth century. North West Frontier Province.

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Comment by Thelma on May 9, 2017 at 10:14

Thanks, Edith. Yes I absolutely agree that beauty and value can be found in objects made from basic materials by local people. I remember the paper that you wrote on the subject some time ago! As to the way these were worn..... I am still trying to discover. It looks as if they were worn at ear level but they must have been supported by, perhaps, a strip of cloth over or round the head. If I find more information, I will let you know. Of course, If anyone else has information, please let us know.

Comment by Edith D on May 9, 2017 at 0:18
These are beautiful! It just goes to prove that something doesn't have to be sterling silver or gold to have value. These are just the sort of item I would expect to see in an ethnographic museum. By the way, are these actually worn suspended from the ears or are they really head ornaments? They look heavy! Great set, Thelma!
Comment by Thelma on May 8, 2017 at 19:58

Here is a front view of these ear pendants. They would originally have been owned by a Pashtun woman living in the tribal areas in the borderland between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most of the people living in these areas are Pashtuns who make a living by, for instance, subsistence farming. These are difficult and dangerous areas to access.

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Created by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 10, 2017 at 4:03pm. Last updated by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 17.

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