Earrings that Denote Widowhood
THAT India is a land of curious customs is confirmed by examining the accompanying illustration. This woman is a native of Garo, a province of Eastern Bengal. She is a widow; but instead of wearing black crepe, she dons these ponderous earrings made of solid brass. Since her widowhood is perpetual, she is obliged to wear them the rest of her life. Each year another ring is added. The large number of rings would seem to indicate great age; but in India girls are married when only five or six years of age, and frequently are widowed at eight or ten.
The constantly increasing weight of metal stretches the lobe of the ear, to which they are attached, in the extraordinary manner depicted. It is safe to say that no widow ever forgets the fact of her widowhood when wearing such a clumsy weight.
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