The handsome, dark skinned Sidamo people of the Ethiopian uplands love to adorn themselves with beads. One of the classic forms of beaded necklace from this region are these heavy pendant necklaces on a leather base with a many strands of glass beads attached and fringing them. They quite often have antique buttons and /or cowry shells as a central decoration. This old 1950s or 1960s necklace is a rarity in that its centre piece is the old bronze cast boss of one of the famous Ethiopian hide shields – a prestige salvaged piece. I was informed y the field collector that this was the only example with a metal boss that had ever come her way! The other exceptional thing about this
necklace is the size – the central beaded pendant is 15 x 10 cm/ 6 x 4 inches. Please note: I think the large beads are plastic, and the neck string has broken due to the age of the piece, so there are some of the yellow and pink large beads missing.