Re: Elephant hair bracelet

Greg Laden (gladen@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Fri, 3 Nov 1995 10:03:02 -0500

I have no idea what an apotrapaic is, so I may be missing the pont: But,
the Efe Pygmies of the Ituri make and use tehse bracelets (and other
items of elephan hair), not for the tourist trade (they do this where
there are not tourists). I am not sure, but Colin Turnbull's American
Museum of Natural History monograph on the Mbuti probably describes these
(It's pretty good on material culture).

Perhaps the problem is that you are looking in West Africa and should be
looking in Central and East Africa?

Cheers, and good luck


On Fri, 3 Nov 1995, George Ulrich wrote:

> I have recently had a query concerning elephant hair bracelets. I have
> always assumed that these are tourist commodities, but they may have some
> ethnographic grounding - apotropaic for example. Does anyone have a
> reference or any information on these objects? I have checked some
> general sources as well as more specific ethnographies (Dahomey,
> and can find nothing. Gratefully.
> george
> ***********************************
> George H. Ulrich, Curator
> African & Pacific Ethnology
> Milwaukee Public Museum
> 800 W. Wells, Milwaukee - 53233
> FAX: 414.278-6100
> Phone: 414.278-2779

Greg Laden
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University
11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138

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