This is a skull from the Congo region. This is a genuine piece and not a piece created for the tourist trade. Known as ancestor skulls, this would’ve been a village elder skull, which was then kept and decorated. The earring type things that you can see hanging off of the zygomatic arches are known as “Manilla” which are a form of money, usually made of bronze or copper. which were used in West Africa. They were produced in large numbers in a wide range of designs, sizes, and weights. Originating before the colonial period, perhaps as the result of trade with the Portuguese empire. Manillas continued to serve as money and decorative objects until the late 1940s and are still sometimes used as decoration. In popular culture, they are particularly associated with the Atlantic slave trade.
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