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Vintage basket or bowl balancing headpiece woven with shells

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This Vintage African Basket or bowl balancing headpiece is a beautiful example of finding art in everyday items. The headpiece has a padded ring to wear on top of the head, and there is an almost veil-like weaving embedded with shells that reach down to the shoulder length. It was worn on a woman's head to help balance a basket or bowl.

This was purchased in a marketplace in Tunis, Tunisia on a trip there in 1999. I believe its use is seem more prevalently in more central and southern parts of Africa, so it was likely traded to be found in Tunisia.

Carrying on the head is a common practice in many parts of the world, as an alternative to carrying a burden on the back, shoulders and so on. People have carried burdens balanced on top of the head since ancient times, usually to do daily work, but sometimes in religious ceremonies or as a feat of skill, such as in certain dances.

Dimensions: 19” long, 16” wide, 2.5” tall


5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Inna B
5 out of 5 stars
Mar 11, 2018
Thank you so much! My daughter loves it. It is actually her favorite thing from this plethora of cheburashka theme/decorations
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Reviewed by Marcia
5 out of 5 stars
Feb 24, 2018
bBeautiful. Fifth item from this vendor and all are exquisite.
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5 out of 5 stars
Feb 17, 2018
One of three I ordered from this shop. Shipped very very quickly!
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Reviewed by Marcia
5 out of 5 stars
Feb 17, 2018
Beautiful; one of three I ordered from this shop and love all of them.
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Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Vintage basket or bowl balancing headpiece woven with shells

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$40.00 $50.00

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  • Vintage item from 1900 - 1909
  • Materials: Cloth, Shells
  • Feedback: 18 reviews
  • Gift message available

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Returns and exchanges accepted
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