Crowning the finial of this Kwere hair pin is the depiction of a sitting figure, positioned with its arms reaching behind to hold onto the edge of the geometrically-formed finial. Sitting with its back straightened and knees bent, the figure is depicted gazing straight ahead with a pair of white beaded eyes. The intricately carved Swahili designs, adorning both sides of the hair pin, are similar to those found on household items along the Tanzanian coast. Over time, the surface of the pin has developed a beautiful worn patina.
Among the Kwere, elaborate hair pins 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.
Estimated Period: Mid-20th Century
(Click on images to enlarge)