Adventures in AmbiLand

Ambi = Ethnically Ambiguous

Ambi-Encounters: Those Are Foo-Lah-Nee Earrings You Know December 29, 2008

Yay- I finally got my Fulani earrings back.  Here’s a pic of me with my old ones.

Me, My Fulani Earrings and I

Me, My Fulani Earrings and I- Chicago River Summer 2007

So my mother took a trip to Amsterdam and brought them back for me. Oh the irony- Italian mother goes to Netherlands and buys me the African earrings. Never heard of them? here’s a little history (foreshadowing folks, foreshadowing)  The ones she picked out were simply gorgeous, silver and undoubtedly the real deal. “They were kind of expensive, but they reminded me so much of you,” she told me.

It was amazing because unbeknownst to my mother,  I was smitten with the earrings since the first time I saw them on my friend Lello a few months before.  Lello was always wearing some fabulous stuff that she picked up in Italy or Ethiopia, so I figured there was no chance I would ever find a pair.

One day one i came home only to realize that one had fallen out of my ear at some point during the day- I’ve been longing for them ever since.  I was gifted a few dollars over the holiday so I saw it fit to cop these  replacement Fulanis in brass:

Brass Fulani Earrings.

(Available at shady-face Pearl of Africa)

They look great even though they are [obviously] a bit brassy- and slightly heavier than my silver pair.  I really cant complain though!

Aesthetics aside- my absolute favorite part of wearing Fulani earrings are the conversations they inspire- it goes a little something like this.

Black woman who thinks I’m White (BWWTIW): “I like your earrings.  Those are Foo-Lah-Nee earrings you know.”

AmbiJawn: “Reeeeeally?” I say cluelessly, feigning ignorance each and every time.  Every time. (What can I say, sometimes I can be an ambi-a##hole hahaha)

BWWTIW: Yes- Fu- la- ni- they are from West Africa.

AmbiJawn: They are AFRICAN?? I love Africa, it’s such a great COUNTRY!!





I got mine in Amsterdam”

BWWTIW: *Disapproving Sigh*

Ok Ok i’m just kidding about the clueless act, but 9 out of 10 of all Fulani centered conversations with strangers DO end in a history lesson.  It’s a fact. It’s Ok though- These kinds of misunderstandings are all part of being an Ambi, and I have learned to love it.

So yeah- Holla at a player when you see her in the streets–  I’ll be the Ambi chic rocking the 1.5′ brass Fulanis- They are Hand-Made in Mali you know!!!