Nuosu Jewelry Culture


Historically, girls had both ears pierced as babies, while boys had only the left ear pierced; most people still follow this custom. Women wear dangly earrings that chime softly and glint in the sunlight or firelight. Men wear simple rings in their one pierced ear. Both genders wear rings and bracelets, though women wear more and fancier ones.

Silver Dangle earrings

The craft of the silversmith is highly developed and greatly respected among the Nuosu. It includes such arts as making wire, pounding and cutting thin sheets, casting, soldering and stamping both directly and by repusse. All the hot work used to be done over a furnace dug out of the baked-mud floor of the workshop, fanning the charcoal fire with handmade, sheepskin bellows.

Nuosu silversmiths now often work in urban shops, fanning their tabletop furnaces with electric blowers, but they still produce the same exquisite items.

Below are some other items made by Nuosu jewelry makers.


Medallion necklaces

Adjustable rings
Post earrings
Compacts (two mirrors, no powder)
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