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Tamasay

A tamasay (or tamasai) is a bead necklace worn by Ainu women for special occasions.

The necklace is called a shitoki if it has a medallion[?]. They are made with large glass beads the Ainu obtained through trading with Chinese merchants. The shitoki medallion often represents the white-tailed sea eagles that the Ainu hunted. The more strands and beads a necklace has, the more valuable it is. The necklaces were passed down through generations and were highly treasured by their owners. This jewellery is especially important in ceremonies and rituals because it protects the wearer from evil spirits.



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