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Woman’s Iron Pubic Cover (Cache Sexe)
Kirdi and Matakam People, North Cameroon
19th-early 20th century
This pubic cover or cache sexe was worn by women of the Kirdi and Matakam peoples of North Cameroon. It is of forged iron with a hard loop of matted and
woven cotton fibre with iron rings. This is attached to a thick iron wire hoop which has been decorated with two twists of aluminium strips.
This is the most traditional type of female pubic cover used in North Cameroon. It is also somewhat erotic in that its shape and texture is meant to mirror what
might lay beneath. (Leurquin, 2004, p. 283).
Such covers were worn by married women.
See Daalder (2009, p, 413), Borel (1994, p. 77), and Leurquin (2004, p. 45) for related examples.
Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.
Daalder, T., Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment: Australia, Oceania, Asia, Africa, Ethnic Art Press/Macmillan, 2009.
Leurquin, A., A World of Belts: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America from the Ghysels Collection, Skira, 2004.
Provenance: private collection, UK
Inventory no.: 4274
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