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Pair of ear plugs

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In addition to headwear and beaded neckrings, Zulu women also wear large ear plugs. The combination of colors, particularly red, green, white, dark blue, and black, in Zulu women's adornment is called umzansi. This combination of colors and shapes is meant to frame the face.


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

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

African, Zulu peoples, South Africa, mid 20th century


Overall (Each): 1.3 x 5.4 cm (1/2 x 2 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, plastic


Africa and Oceania


Jewelry / Adornment