The original purpose of earrings was protective rather than ornamental: as natural openings, ears, and the auditory canal, are threatened by intrusive spirits. As the seat of hearing, the ear enables man to fend off the dangers of the bush and forest. Lastly, the ear is the vehicle for aural knowledge, vital to peoples who do not transmit information through the written word. (Source: A World of Earrings by Anne van Cutsem, 2001).
Photography: Christian André Strand