A visual statement of status, this large fine nineteenth century adornment would have been attached by a specialist itinerant smith to the ankle of an elite married Igbo woman. Termed ogba, the surfaces of the front, back and the central leg tube, display a rich array of finely engraved geometric patterns, consisting of circles, dots and lines to short rows of diamond-shaped forms.
Worn day and night for years, an anklet such as this augmented the social status of the woman, as well as that of her husband. The impressive size of this leg adornment was indicative of the wearer’s high-ranking position in society, as a woman who was physically unable to undertake normal domestic duties.
Ex Private Collection, UK
Estimated Period: Second Half of 19th Century
The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry, page 79
Angela Fisher, Africa Adorned (1984)
British Museum, 'Anklet'
(Click on images to enlarge)