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Kirdi Iron Pendants Necklace Matakam Cameroon African

Product #: 113354
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Title Kirdi Iron Pendants Necklace Matakam Cameroon African
Materials Iron
Made In Cameroon
Approximate Age 19th or early 20th century
Overall Condition Fair to poor. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Rusted surface
People Kirdi
Necklace Length 20 inches
Pendant Size 6.25 x 12 inches

Additional Information: 

The Matakam are also known as 'Kirdi' or 'pagans', a name given to them by the Islamized Kanuri or Fulani who came into the area sometime during the 1600s. The Matakam or Kirdi live in small farming communities and are known for their arts of personal adornment, especially those made of iron including the "cache sexes," as well as necklaces, bracelets and other attachments worn on the belt supporting their "aprons." Composed of small iron strips, the pubic aprons were worn by mature married women indicating their elevated status in Kirdi society. Beaded aprons have today replaced those of iron and are worn by women on special occasions such as marriage or during the presentation of new born children. Geometric patterns found on the brightly colored beaded aprons reflect designs shared by a number of neighboring peoples. It is an example of how traditions are maintained in other forms and materials--preserving customs and aesthetic expression. The nomadic Fulani of Cameroon and their neighbors, the Kirdi, both make these beaded aprons. Maidens wear beaded cache sexe, sometimes torn by their husbands as part of wedding night rituals. See vatrieties of such pendants in  THE ART OF CAMEROON by Tamara Northern , figs. 142-147