This Kwere hair parter is surmounted by a geometric form featuring two pairs of stylised female breasts. Intricate Swahili designs, found on furniture and household items along the Tanzanian coast, adorn the front and back of the parter.
Among the Kwere of Tanzania, elaborate hair implements such as this would have been given as bridal or dowry gifts by a man to a woman, often by a father of the bride to his daughter. Kept as a symbol of marriage, these prized possessions would be passed down the generations. Tools used to shape, separate or part the hair were celebrated as works of art in themselves.