The Beauty and Meaning of African Neck Rings

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African neck rings are a form of body modification that has been practiced for centuries by various tribes and cultures in Africa. They are coils of metal, usually brass or copper, that are worn around the neck, arms, and legs to create the illusion of a long and slender neck. They are also known as neck coils, necklaces, or chokers.

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The origin and purpose of African neck rings are not very clear, but there are different theories and stories that explain why they are worn. Some believe that they are a symbol of wealth, status, and beauty, while others think that they are a way of protecting the wearer from wild animals or enemies. Some also say that they are a sign of loyalty and fidelity between a husband and wife.

African neck rings have different meanings and significance depending on the tribe and culture that wears them. Here are some examples of how African neck rings are used and interpreted by different groups:

– The Ndebele tribe of South Africa is one of the most famous examples of African neck ring wearers. They wear them on their neck, arms, and legs as a sign of beauty and identity. The rings are given by the husband to his wife as a symbol of faithfulness and love, and they can only be removed after her death. The more rings a woman wears, the more respect she commands in society.

– The Kayan tribe of Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand is another well-known group that practices neck elongation with brass coils. They start wearing them at a young age, usually around five years old, and add more coils as they grow older. The Kayan women believe that having a long neck makes them more attractive and closer to the spirits.

 

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– The Suri tribe of Ethiopia is a pastoralist group that lives near the Omo River. They wear neck rings made of clay or iron as a form of adornment and expression. The Suri women also use them to indicate their marital status: single women wear one ring, married women wear two rings, and widows wear none.

– The Dinka tribe of South Sudan is a cattle-herding group that values physical strength and beauty. They wear neck rings made of beads or metal as a way of enhancing their appearance and attracting mates. The Dinka men also wear them to show their bravery and prowess in wrestling matches.

African neck rings are not only a form of body modification, but also a form of art and culture. They reflect the diversity and creativity of the African people, who have been using them for generations to express their identity, values, and beliefs. They are also a source of pride and beauty for the wearers, who embrace their unique and distinctive look.

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If you are interested in learning more about African neckrings or buying some for yourself, you can check out these websites:

– [BIDHAAR]: A platform that showcases African beauty and culture through various products, including neck rings.

– [Etsy]: A marketplace that sells handmade and vintage items, including African neck jewelry.

– [Afrikrea]: A website that connects African designers and artisans with customers around the world, offering a wide range of African necklaces and other accessories.

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PICTURE CREDIT: PINTEREST

Kulsoom Saghir

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