Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Necklace

Date:
1900–1975
Culture:
Chinese minority (Miao-Wuya)
Medium:
silver
Credit Line:
Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.318a, b
Not on view
With a population of more than seven million, the Miao people form one of the largest ethnic minorities in southwest China. Miao women are known for wearing elaborate ornaments and silver jewelry, especially on important occasions and celebrations. Miao silversmiths are renown and the elaborate necklaces they make show the wealth and prestige of the women's families. Historically, Miao neck jewelry has also had spiritual purposes and connotations of protection. The repousse often reflects the Miao's natural environment as seen in this exquisite example decorated with mountain and setting sun motifs, as well as flowers and fish.
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