African textiles, £10.99
Brass anklet (ogba)
Igbo, 20th century AD
In parts of West Africa, anklets made from brass, or solid ivory cut from the cross-section of a tusk, formed part of a woman's dowry and were symbols of high status.
These heavy and cumbersome brass anklets, ogba, were worn in pairs by Igbo women of wealthy families. They were hammered into shape and then fitted by specialist itinerant smiths. The anklets were considered prestigious on account of the costly material from which they were made, and because women who wore them were unable to undertake normal domestic duties. A woman wearing ogba increased her own social status and that of her husband and father.
A. Fisher, Africa adorned (London, Collins, 1984)
J. Perani and F.T. Smith, The visual arts of Africa: gen (Prentic Hall, New Jersey, 1998)