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Comma or Kidney Shaped Bead (Magatama), 1 of 2

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, Arts of Japan, 2nd floor
Magatama are comma-shaped beads that were worn by the upper classes of ancient Japan, possibly for protective as well as decorative purposes. The inspiration for the shape is unclear: it might imitate an animal claw or tooth, or it might be a stylized representation of a fetus. Similar beads are found in the tombs of social elites in Korea, illustrating strong ties between the ancient peoples of the two regions.
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 400 B.C.E. - 600 C.E.
    PERIOD Yayoi or early Kofun period
    DIMENSIONS 7/16 x 1 1/4 x 15/16 in. (1.1 x 3.1 x 2.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, Arts of Japan, 2nd floor
    CAPTION Comma or Kidney Shaped Bead (Magatama), 1 of 2, 400 B.C.E. - 600 C.E. Stone, 7/16 x 1 1/4 x 15/16 in. (1.1 x 3.1 x 2.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, 09.898.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 09.898.4_09.898.1_09.898.2_PS4.jpg)
    IMAGE group, 09.898.4_09.898.1_09.898.2_PS4.jpg.
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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