Friday mystery object #79


This week I’m going to give you a break from skulls, here’s an Anthropological mystery object for you to identify (as suggested by Emilia, who is one of our excellent Conservators):

Any idea what it is, where it’s from and what it’s made of?

As usual you can leave your suggestions, observations and questions in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to respond. Good luck!

32 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #79

  1. Surely too small for a skirt? Would be about the right size for a necklace for those of us at the larger end of human scale…

    Is it maybe not for wearing at all? I bet it would make a good percussion instrument [shaken like a rattle, rather than hit as a series of ‘keys’].

    • I like the noise generating idea – I suppose I should have expected it from a percussion enthusiast like you! I expect that the sound generated may contribute to the item’s function, but it’s not the primary function.

      As for it being small for a skirt, yes, on myself and you perhaps, but not all people are built for Northern climes…

      • Using the scale bar, a ruler and some very basic mathematics it’s possible to work out the waist circumference of the person who wore this skirt (assuming that’s what it is). It’s actually about 66 cm or 26 inches, which may sound small to a great big Western heifer like me, but it’s not really that small for someone who lives an active life and doesn’t eat too much…

      • Or adult – most American A-list celebrities would think a 26″ waist was big, the average waist size of contemporary fashion models is 24″ and they are well above average height, so a slim woman of 5’6″ could easily have a 26″ waist and not be unusual.

        This object is not from an area where obesity is a major problem for most of the population. Far from it.

  2. A dancing skirt? Those look very musical. I’d guess that those are sections of horn, looking at the taper – though my first thought was hippo teeth. African, though I wouldn’t want to guess any more closely.

  3. How about an african ceremonial skirt made from elephant tusks? You said something about pygmies, so I’ll extend my diagnosis a bit further and venture “forest elephant”.

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