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A Dan wooden feasting spoon with head

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1950: item # 1123446

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michael cichon tribal arts
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Bradenton, FL 34281
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A Dan wooden feasting spoon with head
The large, ritual utensil showing a female portrait effigy head with a tri-partite coiffure at the top of the handle. Such spoons were prized gifts received by a woman after being recognized as the most generous, giving, hospitable host in the village. A thick, slightly encrusted, black patina covers the spoon and is appropriately worn away at the tip and backside of the scoop area, indicating repetitive use. The face has received organic white paint across the eyes and aluminum teeth have been inserted into the mouth to further enhance the image. Measuring 23.25"L x 5.25"W, the utensil ('wunkirmian' or 'wukemia') is probably carved from Kapok wood and shows old, dormant insect holes throughout which have not affected the strength or integrity of the material. A fine, old example, ca. early-mid 20th Century, in excellent condition. Dan peoples, Liberia or Ivory Coast, West Africa. Provenance: Bart family estate, NYC and FL, since the 1960's.


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