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Bontoc Igorot Woman's Heirloom Jewelry Pouch Ornament "Akosan"

Bontoc Woman's Heirloom Jewelry Pouch / Waist Ornament "Akosan" c.a 1900's

This item serves as a pouch for heirloom jewelries as well as an ornament

Length of cloth 52 inches

Length from end to end of the shells and brass rings about 31 inches.

Length of pocket about 1 foot

sizes of shells. smallest shell (the one that serves as lock) - has outer diameter of 1.5". other shells from 1.6 - 1.8". the 2 biggest shells have outer diameter of about 2".

weight: about 1kg

it consist of 7 shells. the one serves as lock to the pouch. it has bone rings, brass rings and mother of pearl rings with smaller shells, wood and carnelian beads.

Note: The pouch only contains newspaper

Found in both Bontoc and Tinguian, this artifact is worn on the waist. It is made up of a long piece of fabric, usually of very coarse raw cotton, sewn together at the sides with a space in the middle to hold jewelry which are part of the akon. Akon are family heirlooms such as inherited earrings and beads that should not be sold and must always be kept in a safe place such as the akkos. Both ends of the cloth are passed through several medium sized cone shells. (Conus Litteratus). Sometimes coiled brass wire or ivory rings are incorporated. The shells and brass coils serve as the lock because they have to be removed before the jewelry can be taken out. The heirloom girdle is worn around the waist above the wrap-around skirt or tapis by older women. In certain villages, the akosan is worn beneath the skirt, producing a bustle effect.


Ethnic Group: Bontoc ( Igorots or Cordillerans) of Northern Luzon Philippines


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  • Shipping Weight (Plus Packaging): 2000grams