Pair of ear plugs

Zulu peoples
mid 20th century

Object Place: South Africa


Overall (Each): 1.3 x 5.4 cm (1/2 x 2 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, plastic

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Jewelry


Earrings, flares, plugs, studs

In addition to headwear and beaded neckrings, Zulu women also wear large ear plugs. The combination of colors, particularly red, green, white, dark blue, and black, in Zulu women’s adornment is called umzansi. This combination of colors and shapes is meant to frame the face.


Between 1980s and 1990s, acquired in Paris by anonymous donors; 2009, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession date: January 20, 2010)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift