Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Heddle Pulley

Date:
19th–20th century
Geography:
Côte d'Ivoire, central Côte d'Ivoire
Culture:
Guro (?)
Medium:
Wood
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 6 1/8 x 2 1/4 x 1 7/8in. (15.6 x 5.7 x 4.8cm)
Classification:
Wood-Implements
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Gilliam Jr., 1981
Accession Number:
1981.418.15
Not on view
Baule peoples and their neighbors to the West, the Guro, are famous as weavers, and are known for their fine indigo-and-white cotton fabrics. Used on the traditional narrow-band loom, heddle pulleys are functional objects used to ease the movements of the heddles while separating the warp threads and allowing the shuttle to seamlessly pass through the layers of thread. Like many other carved objects used in everyday activities among the Baule, these pulleys were often embellished for the weaver’s delight. Scholars have suggested that the prominent display of pulleys, hanging over the weaver’s loom in the public place, afforded artists their best opportunity to showcase their carving skills, in the hope to attract commissions for figures and masks. This ingenious example features a bat hanging upside down. It demonstrates the efforts put by Baule and Guro carvers into beautifying the simplest functional object.
Harold Rome, New York; [Ben Heller, New York]; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gilliam, Jr., Charlottesville, VA, until 1981

Related Objects

Heddle Pulley with Figure

Date: 19th–mid-20th century Medium: Wood Accession: 1979.206.261 On view in:Gallery 352

Heddle Pulley with Female Figure

Date: 19th–mid-20th century Medium: Wood Accession: 1979.206.292 On view in:Gallery 352

Heddle Pulley with Figure

Date: 19th–20th century Medium: Wood Accession: 1980.560.2 On view in:Gallery 352

Heddle Pulley

Date: 19th–mid-20th century Medium: Wood, iron nail Accession: 1980.552.12 On view in:Gallery 352

Face Mask (Kpeliye'e)

Date: 19th–mid-20th century Medium: Wood, horns, raffia fiber, cotton cloth, feather, metal, sacrificial material Accession: 1978.412.489 On view in:Gallery 350