Woman's ear ornament
Small ear ornaments (taiana), often carved with tiny ﬁgures, were worn by women in each earlobe with the Conus shell cap facing forwards. This example is for the left ear, and the whale ivory section is pierced vertically near the cap for a peg to hold it ﬁrmly in place when being worn (see von den Steinen, 1928: III: BP, BR). The feet of the two ﬁgures on the shaft are chipped. Marquesan men and women wore a variety of ornaments made from wood, shell, bone, whale ivory, seeds and feathers and the men were renowned for their full body tattoo.
Steven Hooper, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 28.
Acquired by the Sainsbury Family in 1961. Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia in 1973 as part of the original gift.
Title/Description: Woman's ear ornament
Born: 1800 - 1850
Object Type: Ornament
Measurements: h. 51 x w. 23 x d. 23 mm
Accession Number: 195
Historic Period: 19th century - Early/Mid
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1973
More from the collection
Ink, Paper, Watercolour
Support; h. 485mm x w. 368 mm Frame; h. 567mm x w. 701 x d. 44 mm
Drawings for Sculpture (standing figures)
Chalk, Ink, Paper, Pencil, Watercolour, Wax crayon
Unframed: (h. 420 x w. 250 x d. 1 mm) Framed: (h. 625 x w. 455 x d. 44 mm)