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Currently shown

Staff

Location

ANGOLA

Culture

Chokwe

Title

Staff

Date

Before 1959

Materials

Wood

Dimensions

92.6 x 4.5 cm

Credits

Gift of Mrs. Jean M. Collins and family in memory of the Rev. Dr. S. Ralph Collins, inv. 1992.F.102

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

The use of a staff as a symbol of authority is widespread among the peoples who are now divided between Angola, Zambia, and the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Chokwe and Ovimbundu, staffs are most often decorated with female figures, miniature initiation masks, or depictions of political leaders. Adorned with a figure in European dress, this example reflects the emergence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries of a hybrid style combining local and foreign insignia of power. The style can also be seen in the photo taken by Frank Read in about 1895-1896.

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