Lamya Necklace

The pendant in this statement necklace is an Ethiopian tribal lip plate made from terracotta clay by the Mursi tribe who come from the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia near the border with Sudan. These saucer type lip plates are commonly used to stretch the lips of girls by first cutting the lower lip, then using a wooden plug to hold the cut open until the wound heals. The plugs are replaced by larger ones over time, and when large enough, a lip plate is inserted to continue to stretch the lip as far as desired. Some claim that the size of the lip plate correlates to the size of the young woman’s bride wealth. Others simply regard it as an expression of adulthood and reproductive potential. This particular lip plate has been adorned by a piece of camel bone, and is more than 60 years old. Cotton cord has been wrapped around the indented rim to secure it in pendant form.

Natural white coral beads complement the camel bone decoration. These beads originate from the Mediterranean, the Straits of Malacca and the Red Sea, and were cut into beads between 1775 and 1925. Some of the beads have beautiful streaks of natural burnt orange, adding more character to this piece. Brass heishi beads from Kenya are strung on the rest of the length of the necklace, which is finished with a handmade brass clasp, adjustable chain and SHIKHAZURI logo bead.

Lamya, a name of Arabic and old Greek origin meaning “beautiful dark lips” is an alluring name for this necklace; the terracotta Ethiopian tribal lip plate makes a particularly wonderful artefact for this unique piece of jewellery fusing cultures and style. A fabulous statement with lots of character!

Product Details

The Ethiopian tribal lip plate in this statement necklace makes this piece truly unique! Various African tribes use specimens like this lip plate

Specimens like this function not only as a form of adornment amongst various African tribes, but they also hold symbolic value ingrained within their cultural traditions.

Indeed, this fabulous collector’s piece is infused with style, soul and history. Key features of the Lamya Necklace include:

  • An antique terracotta Ethiopian tribal lip plate originating from the Mursi tribe in the Omo Valley, southern Ethiopia
  • Gorgeous natural white coral beads with streaks of burnt orange
  • Striking brass beads made by local artisans in Ghana
  • Brass heishi (disc) beads from Kenya
  • A handmade brass clasp, adjustable chain and SHIKHAZURI logo bead
  • Length: 40cm including clasp, with 8cm chain extension to enable necklace length to be adjusted
  • Pendant height: 6.2cm

The components are personally sourced by Shikha during her travels around the world and this statement necklace is assembled in her home studio in Kenya.

FREE worldwide shipping, protective packaging and a beautiful handmade banana leaf jewellery box lined with Maasai shuka and Kenya kanga fabric is included, as well as a personally signed card by Shikha with the story behind this piece.