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Neck ring (onlua)

Neck rings, called onlua, were prestige items worn by chiefs and other high-ranking members of Teke society. Made of copper and intricately carved with abstract geometric or floral patterns, the neck rings served as visible symbols of wealth.


Between 1980s and 1990s, acquired in Paris by anonymous donors; 2009, year-end anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession date: January 20, 2010)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

African, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Teke peoples, 20th century


Overall: 28.3 cm (11 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Copper alloy


Africa and Oceania


Jewelry / Adornment