Ivory’s value results from its scarcity, as well as its association with the elephant, a symbol of power and strength. Ivory bracelets, decorated with engraved designs, were made by the Fur of the Darfur region of Sudan and traded as far as Eritrea and the Republic of the Congo. Hairpins from the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo are worn by both men and women to hold hats and ornate hairstyles in place. These hairpins are particularly ostentatious, since each is made from a large piece of ivory, most of which is carved away.
- Culture: Mangbetu
- Medium: Ivory
- Place Made: Ubangi or Uele region, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dates: 19th century
- Dimensions: 7 in. (17.8cm) Other: 7 in. (17.8cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is on view in African Installation Vault
- Accession Number: 31.2036.1
- Credit Line: Museum Expedition 1931, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Mangbetu. Hairpin, 19th century. Ivory, 7 in. (17.8cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1931, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 31.2036.1. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Hairpin in one piece with a traditional shaft: one end comes to a point; the other is a flattened ball which is decorated with incised crosshatching. Condition: Good, worn.
- Record Completeness: Best (83%)