"Esente" (torques made of iron wrapped in leather). These engagement presents, indicative of their future husband's wealth, are made by the village smith and worn for life. An upper torque, the bignere, may only be worn by a man's first wife. Added at the time of marriage, its distinctive iron protrusion is both a phallic and a status symbol.
© Kieron Nelson 1998 "Vanishing Cultures Photography" All rights reserved