jewellery and ornaments

In all cultures, man has practiced the art of jewellery, thereby combining appearance and ceremony.

The attention given to the preparation of objects, the taste for precious materials and the refinement of the motifs bear witness to a fascination with appearances as an indicator of a specific status and a certain opulence.

Generally, this jewellery is emblematic of a form of social authority. But it can also play a role as a protector against adversity depending on the materials used in its making and the accompanying symbols. It is most often a bearer of vital energy.


  • War Charm

  • Woman's Headdress

  • Chieftain's Helmet

  • Male Ear Ornament

  • Pendant

  • Forehead Ornament

  • Men's Chignon Comb

  • Pendant

  • Element of Woman's Headdress: Part That Covers

  • Pendant Worn On the Back

  • Face Veil

  • Anthropomorphic Appliqué Jewelry

  • Necklace

  • Pendant

  • Bird Necklace

  • Hairpin

  • Frontal Headdress (known as "hat of the clan")

  • Large Dance Headdress

  • Feather Headdress

  • Male Figurine

  • Bark Apron

Bark Apron

Bark Apron

Chest Ornament, Achuar Equator, beginning of the 20th Century, hammered bark, aras and harpies (?) feathers, strips from palm trees, braided hair, gift Edouard André, 71.1903.13.1

This adornment was worn up until the middle of the 20th century by men who were part of the eastern Jivaro, the Condoshi, the Achuar Equator, and Peruvian groups. It hung from the neck on braided human hair chains. This piece evokes liturgical vestments. It is possible that it was inspired by the embroidered chasubles worn by Jesuit missionaries. It is a good depiction of two facts of the Jivaro culture: fascination with the bird world and and concern about the grandeur of the self. The wearing of feathers is one way of endowing the body with attributes of the revered species, in particular, as pertains to forms of sociability that are judged to be exemplary, whether one is referring to the model of kinship (aras), or the ability to aggress against others (harpies). By donning feathers taken from different kinds of birds, the Indians create a hybrid body that is rich in the ways it can lend itself to the non-human. The richness of combining these aspects also allows for recognition of the life situation of the wearer and his social status.