Hairpin

This large heavy hairpin with rounded knob at the top is known as 'korek kuping' (literally, ‘ear pick’), which is tucked conveniently into the hair buns of the Nonyas or Peranakan women. Hairpins such as this were used in sets of three and most were made of silver. Gold hairpins were often used by the women of wealthy families. A Nonya traditionally kept her hair long, up to waist length. But during the course of the day, she would tie her hair up in a tightly coiled bun that would be held in place with hairpins such as this. Young brides were cautioned that if they wanted good relations with their mothers-in-law, they were never to be seen with their hair pins removed and their hair undone. Undone hair was a sign of mourning and considered extremely inauspicious.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th centuries
Region
Singapore, Malacca
Dimension
Object size: H:10.5 x W:1.5 x D:1.5cm
Accession No.
2008-05838
Material
Gold
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Gold