padlock key (key (locks & enclosures))

A key of iron and brass attached to a padlock with a leather thong.

Padlock key called 'asrou', 'asaru' or 'aswel' in Tamasheq. Women sometimes wear the larger lock keys as veil weights ('asaru n'swul'). Veil weights are attached to the corner of a veil or shawl and worn over the shoulder, and, apart from being decorative, they function to keep the veil in place. The more ornate keys, specifically made as veil weights, are a status symbol and a sign of wealth (Loughran, 1996, p 259f.).

Collection Information

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