Ceremonial Headdress

These ceremonial headdresses are from the Konkomba people in Ghana, and date from the early 20th century. Cowrie shells, imported from the Indian Ocean, were widely used throughout Africa to demonstrate wealth and status and became a form of currency. Europeans imported vast quantities of cowrie shells to trade for slaves in Africa.

© The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum

Accession reference: The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, 1995/032/007 and 008

Background Reading