[ Headdress and Earrings ]


The earliest archaeological evidence for earrings dates from the 3rd millennium B.C, but it seems likely that men and women will have adorned their ears with, for example, shells and polished pebbles for centuries before that. The mummy of Tutankhamen has large holes in the earlobes, proving that earrings were worn by the Egyptians. During the Byzantine period, fashionable ladies like the Empress Theodora preferred to wear elaborate ornaments on the temple or the sides of the face. In Africa men and women wear heavy earrings which stretch the earlobes down to the shoulders. For the Suya man, Brazil, emphasis is placed on the ear and mouth since the ear is “to see.” To hear is also to understand and to gain knowledge. Some of the most ornate pieces of Turkmen jewellery are integral pieces to the headdresses. The women in Mongolia wear earrings so heavy that another device is attached to the hook, which pass through the ear and a fabric threaded to the hook to be secured to the hair. In addition, sumptuous temple pendants are hung down from the side of the head to the shoulders.