A Zaramo or Kwere Mwana Hiti Hairpin
with mask-like head
Zaramo or Kwere
Country Of Origin
Central and northern coastal region
Early 20th century
26.5 cms (10½ ins)
Smooth, dark patina
The exquisitely carved mask-like head on this hairpin is mwana hiti, a figure that represents male and female fertility, ancestors and the continuity of life. The head sits atop an openwork geometric form that is delicately carved front and back with a diamond and zig-zag pattern.
Hairpins such as this one were given as gifts to women by their husbands when moving into a new house, having a child or other of life’s rites of passage. Thereafter they would be treasured and worn on ceremonial occasions.
Price on request