Hair is the first ornament of both woman and man. Hair has always been an ornamental object by itself, as well as a basic material used in finery. This is true for all times, in societies as diverse as the Bororo of Brazil or the Victorian English society.
|Earrings with human hair - Victorian period - England|
|Piece of a jewel - with human hair - France 1830-1850|
In different societies, hair was used to make mourning jewellery, containing hair of the dead person, to keep his or her memory alive, sometimes to keep the power of the dead person. Click here for some pictures of the hair jewellery of the Victorian English Society and here to see the resume of the book In Death Lamented: The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry
Big Mouth Spring
with decorated scalp lock on right shoulder.
1910 photograph by Edward S. Curtis
In other societies hair was included in finery to prove a warrior's
bravour or was also a way to transmit the power of the dead person.
(About scalping: a lot of different societies were using this practice)
In contemporary jewellery, where all kinds of different materials are used, hair appears in a lot of different forms, sometimes just for the beauty of the material, sometimes expressing a specific content. A beautiful collection is shown here by Marianne Gassier (Contemporary Jewellery Collector): click here
Maho Takahashi –
“Celebration necklace” Human hair, glue
Central st Martins 2012