Ear plugs of this type were worn in Gujarat by Ahir, Rabari, Bharwad, and Mer women. Ganguly (2007, p. 71) says they were also worn in Kutch, who adds that they are ‘one of the most striking ear ornaments in all of India’. Their use had died out by the mid-20th century.
They were worn as plugs in large holes in stretched ear lobes.
A similar pair are illustrated in Hoek (2004, p. 138), Daalder (2009, p. 321), and a related pair is illustrated in Untracht (1997, p. 222).
The pair here have clear age and patina. There are no losses or repairs.
Daalder, T., Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment: Australia, Oceania, Asia, Africa, Ethnic Art Press/Macmillan, 2009.
Ganguly, W., Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India, B.R. Publishing Corporation, 2007.
Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.
Untracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.