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Carved Human-figured Bone Hairpin

Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China

Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China

These hairpins are made of cow bone, engraved with single or double human figures, whose heads are made to resemble the hats worn by officials in ancient times. This scuplted human figure is treated as an idol representing the forefather and tribal leader of the Li people. Below the figure, there are engraved designs depicting animals, flowers, and geometric patterns. Hairpins like these were worn for festivals when women visit their relatives and friends, or participate in parties, and demonstrate respect and rememberance of their forefathers.

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Details

  • Title: Carved Human-figured Bone Hairpin
  • Provenance: Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China
  • Original Source: http://bwg.muc.edu.cn/
  • object type: Accessory
  • ethnic group: Li

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