African, Mali, Dogon peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Mali


Length: 64 cm (25 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Jewelry


Necklaces and neck bands

The social function of jewelry and bodily adornments extends beyond pure decoration. Jewelry can be used a sign of wealth and prestige, a symbol of clan or familial affiliation, or portable currency. This women’s necklace may have bells affixed to it. Bells were thought to communicate with ancestral spirits because the bells could be heard in both the human and spirit world.


1983, sold by Galerie Carrefour, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart