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Healer’s decorated necklace, west-central Africa, 1880-1920

By wearing the necklace decorated with shells and beads during song and dance healing ceremonies, African healers add drama to their rituals. Everyone in the whole community is involved. The intense nature of the ceremony represents the seriousness of the cause of illness. Ceremonies can last anything from minutes to years.

Object number:

A301664

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Glossary:

Glossary: necklace

Ornaments worn around the neck, usually in the form of chains or strands of beads, pearls, stones, or the like, and often including a suspended ornamental pendant. Use "chokers" for short, narrow necklaces worn close to the throat. Use "dog collars (necklaces)" for wide ornamental bands worn tightly around the neck.