Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

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Comment by Anjali on February 13, 2014 at 15:39

I also remember looking at one of these with my father when I was a child and imagining who could have done it and how.  I don't recall any awareness at the time of the plight of the elephants, but I wish there had been.  The last photo in Sarah's article says it all.  I recently saw a photo of a mother and baby elephant with a caption that read something like, "No one needs an elephant tusk but an elephant."  So true.

Comment by Joost Daalder on February 11, 2014 at 0:11

When I was a kid, say in 1950, these were quite common as a fairly luxurious plaything/object of art in European houses, but I recall that they were typically bought in the early part of the 20th c or before. They were never owned by poor Europeans - only the more affluent ones (or as a treasure by not-so-rich people). I do associate them very much with the past, and past ways of thinking. I don't think that most people in the Netherlands would think of buying them now - and certainly not if they look new. During my lifetime (I was born in 1939) the change in attitude to ivory, in countries like the Netherlands, has been HUGE. It is now difficult to remember that that change has been comparatively recent: around 1950 people I knew did not actually think of elephants getting slaughtered for their tusks.

Comment by Alaa eddine SAGID on February 10, 2014 at 16:25

Indeed Ingrid, these are called "cantonese puzzle ball" and i find them puzzling too, fantastic work!!

But quite commen, maybe they were part of the chinese export item popular in the west

@Eva, i guess we need to make difference between old, already made ethnic ivory jewels and items and those who are made today with illegal ivory

We really should educate people around the world not to buy newly made items i believe.

Elephants are beautiful creatures

Comment by Eva Baby on February 10, 2014 at 14:11

I am sad that today still elephants are slaughtered in order to use their ivory.  When will mankind stop to destroy our fellow-beings on earth for greed. Some will hate me  for writing this, but this is my opinion. The article is no Problem, but the People who buy ivory, old or new.

Comment by ingrid Langerak on February 10, 2014 at 13:39

I find this craftmanship so unbelievable, ball within ball and within ball etc.  Fantastic.

Comment by SARAH CORBETT on February 10, 2014 at 11:06



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


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