Hair ornament

This hair ornament made of bone represents a fraction of the wide repertoire of jewellery made, worn and exchanged by highland communities in northern Thailand. This hair spike is worn particularly by the Karen. For many highland communities, silver was valued more highly than gold. Silver jewellery was a way of investing a family’s wealth to be passed down as heirlooms. It was also believed to have protective properties. Today, where security maybe a problem, silver is kept locked away while aluminium is used as a substitute.The Karen people, who live in Burma and northern Thailand are the largest highland group in Thailand. Their origins are unknown.

Early 20th century
Northern Thailand
Gross measurement: H0.8 x L17.0 x W0.6
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Garments and Accessories

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