before 1927
Overall: 14.1 x 11.7 cm (5 9/16 x 4 5/8 in.)
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

From 1822–1847, the American Colonization Society colonized what became Liberia. Americo-Liberians (Congau) ruled until 1980. However, blacksmiths generally sourced brass for jewelry-making from kettles or bullets brought by nearby French colonials from the 1890s onwards.


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.


before 1927

Africa, West Africa, Liberia, Dan-style blacksmith

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.