Bwa Zoomorphic Reptile Mask

Item Name: 
Bwa Zoomorphic Reptile Mask
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.2.2016.74
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Bwa
Ethnicity: 
Burkina Faso
Acquisition Year: 
2016
Condition: 
Age appropriate wear to wooden edges, otherwise good
Size: 
32.25" long
This mask portrays a chameleon-like creature with rows of triangular notches along its sides, representing scales. The mask corresponds to the head of the animal and has holes at its sides to receive material such as raffia for further decoration. The mask terminates in a coiled tail.

Dan Ceremonial Rice Spoon

Item Name: 
Dan Ceremonial Rice Spoon
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.2.2016.73
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Dan
Ethnicity: 
Ivory Coast
Acquisition Year: 
2016
Condition: 
Good
Size: 
21.5" high
A large spoon, with a very worn patina and shininess at the handle from use, this features a round handle-end with a face protruding. These are known as wake mia, or feast spoon. The women who would own and use these would be known as wa ke de, and the deep bowl to the spoon would hold much rice, to be thrown about during ceremonies, and in doing so celebrate the fecundity of the food and the women.

Guro Elephant Heddle Pulley

Item Name: 
Guro Elephant Heddle Pulley
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.2.2016.72
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Guro
Ethnicity: 
Ivory Coast
Acquisition Year: 
2016
Condition: 
Good
Size: 
11.25" high
This is a heddle pulley with a double elephant head top, used to pass thread upon its spindle through a loom. Rows if notched triangles define the animal's chest; opposed columns of notch-carved triangles decorate the legs. The actual pulley spindle is extant and functional.

Mende Woman's Society Mask

Item Name: 
Mende Woman's Society Mask
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.2.2016.71
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Mende
Ethnicity: 
Sierra Leone
Acquisition Year: 
2016
Condition: 
Good
Size: 
15" high x 7.5" wide x 9.5" deep
This very dark mask shows a Mende female in a "Janus-faced" presentation--a face on one side and an opposite face. Topped by a double bird, the deeply carved hair is complemented by soft rolls of her neck.

Ceremonial Oar

Item Name: 
Ceremonial Oar
Inventory Number: 
2017.1010.2.2016.70
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Sepik River
Ethnicity: 
New Guinean
Acquisition Year: 
2016
Condition: 
Good
Size: 
48" high
An oar from the Sepik River in New Guinea.

Fanti Fertility Doll

Item Name: 
Fanti Fertility Doll
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.2.2016.69
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Fanti
Ethnicity: 
Ghanaian
Acquisition Year: 
2016
Condition: 
Good
Size: 
13" high
A female, limbless form, with tiny glass beads strung around the base and the neck. The back of the head has an elaborate criss-cross incised design in two registers, upper and lower, in-filled with white clay. The other incised decorations also have the in-filled white clay.

Fanti Bronze Altar Figure

Item Name: 
Fanti Bronze Altar Figure
Inventory Number: 
2017.1010.2.2016.68
Category: 
Sculpture, Metal
Maker: 
Fanti
Ethnicity: 
Ghanaian
Acquisition Year: 
2016
Condition: 
Cracked
Size: 
8" tall
This is a hollow, cast bronze figure from the Fanti people of Ghana, a royal altar figure, displaying outstretched arms, curlicue necklace and belt in low relief, exaggerated female anatomy and an upswept hairstyle or headcovering that is ridged.

Yoruba Divination Board

Item Name: 
Yoruba Divination Board
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.8.2012.67
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Yoruba
Ethnicity: 
Nigerian
Acquisition Year: 
2012
Condition: 
Good
Size: 
11.5" diameter
An "opon ifa" with a raised rim encircling a slightly convex center. Geometric bands frame the face of Eshu, a Yoruba deity. Used by a priest to cast various items (nuts, shells) for divination purposes. Believed to be pre WW2 in age.

Dan Tribe Ceremonial Mask

Item Name: 
Dan Tribe Ceremonial Mask
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.8.2012.66
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Dan
Ethnicity: 
Ivory Coast
Acquisition Year: 
2012
Condition: 
Age appropriate
Size: 
12" h x 6" w x 9" deep
This mask has an oval face and a high-domed forehead, large, round eye openings, braided raffia beard and hair inset with cowrie shells. The holes at the back edges are for attachments, and it would have been used in initiation ceremonies.

Baule Spirit Mate

Item Name: 
Baule Spirit Mate
Inventory Number: 
2017.1009.8.2012.65
Category: 
Sculpture, Wooden
Maker: 
Baule
Ethnicity: 
Ivory Coast
Acquisition Year: 
2012
Condition: 
Good
Size: 
15" h
Representing a spirit mate to a member of a royal family, this pre WW2 sculpture from the Baule people of the Ivory Coast, shows anatomical precision: facial and body scarification, genitalia, and a coiffure indicating braided hair with a topknot. A spirit mate figure is a sculpture to represent the incorporeal mate of a person to whom he/she was married before being born into the corporeal world. The creation and display of such a figure is meant for the owner to expiate the jealousy of the spiritual mate who is angered by the earthly marital relations of its owner and spouse.
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