The Kalabari people of Nigeria live in the Niger Delta, four degrees above the equator. For several hundred years they have traded textiles and other artifacts across the Sahara and by sea. They use these imported items as visible markers to differentiate them from other Nigerian ethnic groups. Within Kalabari society, textiles also distinguish one lineage group from another, and are often described as "belonging" specifically to a lineage. In addition to textiles, necklaces, particularly Italian coral, canes, and beads in hats, are part of men's and women's ensembles relating to hierarchies of age and social positions within each gender. One specific pillbox style hat, worn by several women in the Jackreece lineage is decorated with many large (3-4 inches long) and fragile, blown-glass lace beads, claimed to be of Venetian origin and dating back to the late 1800s (Francis 1994: 6). Members of the Jackreece lineage on the Kalabari island of Bugma, give an account about the origin and importance of this bead. The account indicates the role of a material artifact in reinforcing lineage prestige and prominence. This beads links the Venetian islands with those of the Kalabari and speak to the issue of the intersection of global and local worlds.
Eicher, J. B., & Erekosima, T. V. (1996). Usi Delle perle in una Societa' Africana: I Kalabaria della Nigeria. [The Use of beads in an African Society: The Kalabari of Nigeria.]. La Ricerca Folklorica, 34, 68-79.
Eicher, Joanne B..
Usi delle perle in una societa' africana: i Kalabari della Nigeria. Una Societa locale o globalizzata?.
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