Part of a set. See all set records
Part 1: 16 x 14.2 cm (6 5/16 x 5 9/16 in.); Part 2: 14.1 x 11.7 cm (5 9/16 x 4 5/8 in.)
Gift of Willett Rankin Wilson, in memory of Audley R. and Edna Moore Wilson 1982.341
Copper alloy bracelets and anklets historically signified a woman’s married status. They were bonded to her in life and removed following death. A blacksmith cast these heavy adornments. Given their weight, their owner couldn’t do domestic or farm work, showing others her privilege as a member of the elite leisure class. Slowed by this jewelry, her movements sent bells jingling in the hollow balls. Following a 1930s economic collapse, women stopped wearing the bracelets to take part in manual labor. At the same time, a national decree outlawed them; many were melted down.
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