Very subtle and very old Yoruba piece. It is hard to tell if it is ESU or not, but this has been suggested by several colleagues. Perhaps this functioned as an ESU dance staff and is complete - or it might have been the top from a longer staff, as well, modified long ago (possibly in situ). There is a curious niche on the back of the head with what appears to be a 'charge' , that is, a metal staple or similar item. Late 19th/early 20th century. Wood with thick, deep, dark brown-black, shiny patina. 10.75"H (excluding mount. Very good condition with some old, small losses and village repair down front of torso where splitting once occurred; possibly a metal addition on reverse of head. Provenance: Duke University Collection, 1980's deaccession. Dr. Peter Horvath, Budapest Hungary and Boston, USA to present.