Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

pair of women's ear ornaments
  • unknown Maasai maker
  • pair of women's ear ornaments, late 1800s–1968
  • Where object was made: Kenya
  • beads, wire, metal
  • Object Length/Width: a) 31.5 x 8 cm
    Object Length/Width: a) 12 3/8 x 3 1/8 in
    Object Length/Width: b) 25 x 7 cm
    Object Length/Width: b) 9 13/16 x 2 3/4 in
  • Gift of Karen Sueetta Joyce
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0913.a,b

This is a set of two different women's ear ornaments, worn through a slit in the top of the ear.

The first ornament (2007.0913.a) is made of a four strand loop, two of blue, one of red and one of blue/white striped beads. The bottom of the loop has two dangles--one of orange beads with a larger green bead and the second of blue beads with a larger red bead and a metal triangular pendant.

The second (2007.0913.b) is a loop of three strands of blue beads, connected mid-loop by blue, red and green strands, which connect to the lowest point on the loop by two strands, one of larger blue and white beads, and a second of larger orange and blue beads.

These are Maasai but they are also worn by other East African peoples.