Hairpins

A Peranakan woman, also known as Nonya, would traditionally tie her waist-long hair into a coiled bun, which would be held in place with hairpins such as these. This set of silver hairpins of varying sizes, engraved with floral motifs at the top, was used in Penang, where sets of between five to seven hairpins were used. This was in contrast to the common practice of using three pins in Malacca and Singapore. As the bun was worn high near the top of the head and was wound very tightly, older Nonyas face gradual hair loss, receding hairlines, and bald spots. By the 1930s, hairpins were no longer relevant to the younger Nonyas who cut their hair according to the latest Western fashions.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th century
Region
Penang
Dimension
refer to parts
Accession No.
2002-00481
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Edmond Chin
Category
Garments and Accessories