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Dance Staff

Dance Staff, Cote D' Voire. Wood.
Height: 27"

This fantastic dance staff was created with a lot of detail. The carver used the swollen stomach (need for one's family, abundance or wealth?) and hips to create the illusion of height. Its abundant and decorated hair (with cowrie and other beads), the dual coloration of the legs and feet, and the piercing eyes, all seem to highlight its magical importance. It was probably a commissioned piece.

Although it presented as a female carving, it was only held by a man, who could have received it as a certificate of accomplishment, or, because of its seeming rarity, could have been given as an oath of office.

It could also have functioned as a dance piece, which would have added to its importance, as many ceremonies required dance staffs.

Ezn. 143

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